Athletes, NFL players show support after Missouri DL comes out
FEB 09, 2014 8:58p ET
In interviews with The New York Times and ESPN, Missouri defensive lineman and NFL hopeful Michael Sam came out as "an openly, proud gay man" on Sunday.
If he is drafted in May, Sam would become the first publicly gay player in NFL history.
The 6-foot-2, 260-pound senior says his teammates and coaches have known since August.
After the news broke, athletes from various sports including current and former NFL players showed their support through social media.
Here is a sampling:
For the past 2 days I have met with @MikeSamFootball here in LA. He is a great young man who has shown tremendous courage and leadership— Jason Collins (@jasoncollins34) February 10, 2014
Congratulations to Michael Sam. Best of luck... and thanks.— John Amaechi OBE (@JohnAmaechi) February 10, 2014
After getting to know Michael Sam over the course of the last few weeks, I am very impressed with what I learned... http://t.co/IvhyLvrMi9— Brendon Ayanbadejo (@brendon310) February 10, 2014
I don't know Michael Sam but I think he wants to be known as a gr8 FB player, that happens to be gay.Big ups M.Sam, make us proud.— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) February 10, 2014
I could care less about a man's sexual preference! i care about winning games and being respectful in the locker room!— DeAngelo Williams (@DeAngeloRB) February 10, 2014
Congratulations and best of luck to Michael Sam for his announcement. It's time we move forward & accept everyone for who they are.— Mike Hill (@ItsMikeHill) February 10, 2014
Great courage by SEC Def POY...It's time for the NFL to show it's colors!⚡️"NFL Prospect Michael Sam Comes Out http://t.co/HRKzwUeS2M"— Tiki Barber (@TikiBarber) February 10, 2014
Michael Sam, super proud and happy for you! What courage. #trailblazing— Abby Wambach (@AbbyWambach) February 10, 2014
Our coaches and players knew all along about this and noone said anything. Just show the amount of respect we have for our family.— Kentrell Brothers✈✈ (@Kentrell_Mizzou) February 10, 2014
Hats off to you Michael Sam, that takes some guts #respect— Jonathan A. Martin (@J_Martin71) February 10, 2014
Very happy for Michael Sam. His courage will inspire millions to live their truth.— Robbie Rogers (@robbierogers) February 10, 2014
The NFL also provided a statement on the matter:
"We admire Michael Sam's honesty and courage. Michael is a football player. Any player with ability and determination can succeed in the NFL. We look forward to welcoming and supporting Michael Sam in 2014.”