Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Michael Sam captured all of the headlines on Sunday as he bravely announced on ESPN’s Outside The Lines and in the New York Times that he is a homosexual. Sam’s teammates have known about the All-American lineman’s sexual preference since August when he informed the entire team. There has definitely been gay NFL players, but none have had the courage to come forward. Sam is eligible for the NFL Draft and is expected to be an early to mid-round pick so this upcoming season will see the first openly gay professional football player. Here is how players, coaches, media and teammates reacted to the news of Sam’s momentous announcement.
— Michael Sam (@MikeSamFootball) February 10, 2014
— Mizzou (@Mizzou) February 10, 2014
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
Here's the thing about Michael Sam. He's really good at rushing the quarterback. He's going to play in the NFL. And this takes guts.
— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) February 10, 2014
Good for Michael Sam. Takes courage for where he is in his career and where we are as a league. I applaud him.
— Tom Crabtree (@itsCrab) February 10, 2014
Dare to be different and stand for what you believe in! Congrats to my brother @MikeSamFootball
— L'Damian Washington® (@Fe_Verdadera2) February 10, 2014
Coming out as gay two weeks before the Combine is one of the bravest things I've seen in my time in the media.
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) 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
Hats off to you Michael Sam, that takes some guts #respect
— Jonathan A. Martin (@J_Martin71) February 10, 2014
Anyway I applaud Mike Sam. Young man wanted to step into the next phase of his life with all his cards on the table. Way to go kid.
— D'Brickashaw (@DragonflyJonez) February 10, 2014
Guess Michael Sam coming out to his teammates before the season didn't hurt the locker room. #Mizzou went from 5-7 to 12-2.
— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) February 10, 2014
Michael Sam isn't the 1st gay player in the NFL although he is the 1st 2 come out.#realtalk Let's show him love like a family member. Truth
— DeionSanders (@DeionSanders) February 10, 2014
— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 10, 2014
NFL prospect comes out: Awesome news. Getting closer to a day it won't be news or matter. http://t.co/Nm3CQTmrW8
— Jared Max (@Jared_Max) February 10, 2014
We knew of his status for 5 years and not one team member, coach, or staff member said anything says a lot about our family atmosphere
— Donovan Bonner (@ElTorroOcho) February 10, 2014
It appears that @Mikesamfootball is a very high character guy. Beyond athletics, this is what u need in the locker room, & on the field. -SG
— steve gleason (@TeamGleason) February 10, 2014