NFL Draft 2014: Michael Sam drafted by St Louis Rams and could become the first ever openly gay man to play in the NFL
Sam, who has been signed after leaving college football with the Missouri Tigers' revealed his sexuality earlier this year
Sunday 11 May 2014
Michael Sam could become the first openly gay man to play in the NFL after being chosen in the final round of the draft by the St Louis Rams.
In what was a dramatic climax to this year’s draft, at the last possible moment Sam received a call from St Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher telling him that he would be picking him to play for the Rams in the NFL this season.
After making a name for himself as an uncompromising line backer for his college team the Missouri Tigers, and was awarded the Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year in 2013.
However, he performed badly at the NFL combines, the trials held for prospective NFL draft picks, and many thought that he might be overlooked during the draft.
With six of the seven rounds of the drafts already completed, it was felt that Sam might have missed his chance of becoming a professional football player.
With time running out he finally received the news that he was waiting for becoming the 249th pick out of 256 and will be looking to become the first openly gay footballer to compete in NFL during this upcoming season this September.
Sam added to the media tension surrounding him caused when he decided to kiss his boyfriend, Vito Cammisano, live on air after receiving the call from the Rams.
The former Missouri Tigers college footballer, came out as gay in February, a move that garnered a lot of media publicity.
In an interview with American sports broadcaster ESPN following his announcement two months ago, he said that he hoped his decision could open the doors for other young men and that he dreamed of playing in the NFL.
Speaking at a news conference held by the Rams after being drafted, Sam said: “I’ve been getting in shape and preparing for this moment for a very long time. I’m so determined to be great.”
Thank you to the St. Louis Rams and the whole city of St. Louis. I'm using every once of this to achieve greatness!! pic.twitter.com/QESdOJVzsw— Michael Sam (@MikeSamFootball) May 10, 2014
When asked about potential detractors, Sam said: “It’s about football. Can I play football? Yes I can.”
Rams head coach Jeff Fisher told ESPN after deciding to sign Sam: "In the world of diversity we live in now, I'm honoured to be a part of this and I'm excited about his opportunity to help this football team win."
Sam posted a picture of himself sporting a Rams cap on Twitter along with the message: "Thank you to the St. Louis Rams and the whole city of St. Louis. I'm using every once of this to achieve greatness!!"
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