Michael Sam,welcome to the history books. The Missouri defensive end and 2014 NFL Draft prospect announced Sunday night that he is gay, and plans to become the first openly gay player in the NFL.
Sam has just completed his senior season at Missouri, and he ranked among the top pass rushers in the SEC last year with 10.5 regular-season sacks. and an additional sack in the Cotton Bowl. This bumped up his NFL draft stock despite his relatively small size for the defensive end position: “Only” 6-foot-2, 255 pounds.
“I understand how big this is,” he said. “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.”
On Sunday night, the The NFL issued a statement in support of Sam: “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.”