Michael Sam Drafted By St. Louis Rams, Becomes First Openly Gay Player In The NFL [VIDEO]
In an emotional moment that was all caught on film, Michael Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams to become the first openly gay player in the NFL.
The 2013 Co-Defensive Player of the Year was chosen with the 249th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Rams—a team that is also credited with signing the first African-American player in the modern era of the NFL.
Sam came out publicly on ESPN before the NFL combine and insisted that he doesn’t want to be known as a trailblazer, he just wants to be known as a football player.
Unfortunately for now, Sam will have to tolerate the attention in the immediate wake of being drafted. The Missouri defensive end has gotten praises from many, including Barack Obama who used the historic moment to remind us that people “should be judged by what you do and not who you are.”
Even though the majority of the feedback has been positive, there are still many who chose to publicly comment in ignorant fashion.
ESPN… You serious right now?
— Case McCoy (@CaseMcCoy6) May 10, 2014
Dolphins second-year safety Don Jones tweeted “OMG” and “Horrible” shortly after ESPN aired the clip of Sam and his boyfriend celebrating the moment with a kiss—a moment seen celebrated by many other players and their significant others after the life changing event of being drafted into the NFL.
Jones’ tweets have since been deleted and he has been fined by the Dolphins and excused from OTAs as a result of his insensitive tweets that were an embarrassment to the franchise. Coach Joe Philbin called Jones’ words “inappropriate and unacceptable.”
In a statement released by the Dolphins, an apology from Jones was included.
I want to apologize to Michael Sam for the inappropriate comments that I made last night on social media. I take full responsibility for them and I regret that these tweets took away from his draft moment. I remember last year when I was drafted in the seventh round and all of the emotions and happiness I felt when I received the call that gave me an opportunity to play for an NFL team and I wish him all the best in his NFL career. I sincerely apologize to Mr. Ross, my teammates, coaches, staff and fans for these tweets. I am committed to represent the values of the Miami Dolphins organization and appreciate the opportunity I have been given to do so going forward.
While he was excited to be drafted, Sam does believe he should have been picked higher based on his accolades. Something tells me this will be motivational locker room material for the young rookie who will be joining a solid defensive cast in St. Louis.
SEC Defensive Player of the Year, unanimous All-American, I should have gone in the top three rounds easily. But you know what? It is what it is. I’m happy to be a St. Louis Ram. Everything else is history.
History indeed. Congrats to you Michael Sam.
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