The St. Louis Rams have made history this weekend after drafting publicized openly gay football player Michael Sam to its growing team roster. #MakeHistory
According to reports, the Rams made the big pick Saturday (May 10) evening.
The Rams selected defensive end Michael Sam with pick No. 249 Saturday night, ending months of speculation to when – or if – Sam would hear his name called in the draft. “Thank you to the St. Louis Rams and the whole city of St. Louis. I’m using every [ounce] of this to achieve greatness!!” Sam wrote on Twitter shortly after the draft ended Saturday night, while posting a picture of himself wearing a Rams ball cap and a huge grin. (USA Today)
Last February, Sam came out about his sexuality during an ESPN broadcast.
In interviews with ESPN, The New York Times and Outsports, Sam says he came out to his teammates and coaches at Missouri in August. Sam says: “I am an openly, proud gay man.” The 255-pound Sam participated in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., last month after leading the SEC in sacks (11.5) and tackles for loss (19), and he is projected to be a mid-round NFL draft pick. He says: “It’s a big deal. No one has done this before. And it’s kind of a nervous process, but I know what I want to be … I want to be a football player in the NFL.” (Los Angeles Times)
The announcement immediately sparked debates on what it could mean for the NFL draft.
Other pro athletes who have said they are gay include Jason Collins, a veteran of 12 NBA seasons who came out last year but has not played on a team since. Robbie Rogers, a Major League Soccer midfielder with the Los Angeles Galaxy, also has said he was gay. But Sams would be the first active publicly gay NFL player. Support for Sam’s public announcement came swiftly from several quarters. (NBC News)
Last year, New York rapper A$AP Rocky compared openly gay Nets player Jason Collins’ announcement to R&B singer Frank Ocean revealing his bisexuality.
“That’s his business,” Rocky said in an interview. “I respect men more for coming out. People joke on Frank Ocean a lot but at least he’s not out here fronting. It’s a lot of people, a lot of motherf*ckers be out here, they be the closet motherf*ckers, you know? I don’t respect them. I respect gay men who identify it and who are out with it. I don’t have a problem with gay people at all. So it’s like, that’s his business. It don’t concern me. Number one, I barely get to watch basketball like that as it is. Number two, I don’t even know who this n*gga is that you talking about. Dead a**. He probably has ten times more money than me but I don’t know who he is. We got the Frank Ocean of the NBA now who came out and did what he had to do. Shout-outs to him.” (KYSDC)