Watch Michael Sam, First Openly Gay NFL Player, React to Draft Pick - Rolling Stone
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Watch Michael Sam, First Openly Gay NFL Player, React to Draft Pick

Sam and his boyfriend celebrate with a kiss as he prepares to join the St. Louis Rams

Michael Sam has just become the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team. The Southeastern Conference’s defensive player of the year was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the final round of the N.F.L. draft on Saturday as the 249th overall pick out of 256.

It must have been a grueling wait to hear the news, and a touching video from ESPN shows Sam finally getting that call. He collapses in tears in the arms of his boyfriend before the two embrace and kiss on camera. Another video shows Sam smashing some celebratory cake into his partner’s face before the two kiss again.

Sam announced that he was gay in interviews with the New York Times and ESPN this past February after coming out to his teammates last August. “I am an openly, proud gay man,” the Missouri defensive lineman told ESPN at the time. Explaining his decision to discuss his sexual orientation with the publications, he said, “I just want to make sure I could tell my story the way I want to tell it,” Sam said. “I just want to own my truth.”


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