Harry Styles has shown his support for the first openly gay man drafted into the NFL after wearing his shirt on stage during a concert in St Louis.
The 20-year-old One Direction singer was seen wearing Michael Sam’s St Louis Rams jersey after ESPN sparked controversy earlier this week for reporting on the player’s showering habits at the team’s training camp.
The network later apologised, saying the package “failed to meet the standards we have set in reporting on LGBT-related topics in sports”.
Sam, who came out as gay in February, tweeted Styles to thank him for the support.
The boy band heartthrob has previously been the subject of tabloid reports speculating about his sexuality, following his close friendship with openly gay Radio 1 presenter Nick Grimshaw.
But Styles quashed rumours surrounding his sexuality in an interview with GQ last year, saying: “Bisexual? Me? I don’t’ think so. I’m pretty sure I’m not.”
Sam has since been cut by the St Louis Rams on Saturday, which the team’s coach Jeff Fisher described as a “football decision”.
The NFL star tweeted: “The most worthwhile things in life rarely come easy, this is a lesson I’ve always known. The journey continues.”