Former University of Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" and the New York Times on Sunday night that he was openly gay. The Missouri player was an All-American and named SEC Defensive Player of the Year.
Sam told ESPN that he came out to his team back in August. Many analysts expect him to be a mid-round pick during the NFL draft in May.
If drafted, Sam would become the first openly gay NFL player.
Reaction on social media
After the story broke, comments were quick to explode on social media. Both Mizzou head coach Gary Pinkel and the NFL released statements on Twitter.
Gary Pinkel: "We’re really happy for Michael that he’s made the decision to announce this & we’re proud of him & how he represents Mizzou"— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) February 10, 2014
NFL statement: "We admire Michael Sam's honesty and courage. We look forward to welcoming and supporting Michael Sam in 2014."— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 10, 2014
Had multiple convos with @MikeSamFootball this year, amazed at his honesty & courage! Once a tiger, ALWAYS a Tiger!— Chase Daniel (@ChaseDaniel) February 10, 2014