ESPN cameras were in the home of Michael Sam to record the moment he was selected by the NFL as the first openly gay football player. Receiving a call from the St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher, Sam broke down in tears before kissing his boyfriend. It was a huge moment for LGBT+ visibility in sports.
Sam was long considered a shoe in, but there were worries his coming out as gay could affect his future. “I understand how big this is”, Sam had told ESPN when he initially made his sexuality public. “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.”
Watch below Michael Sam react to the news that he will be joining the St. Louis Rams.
President Barack Obama also congratulated the NFL selectee in a White House statement. “The President congratulates Michael Sam, the Rams and the NFL for taking an important step forward today in our Nation’s journey. From the playing field to the corporate boardroom, LGBT Americans prove everyday that you should be judged by what you do and not who you are.”
Highlighting how far acceptance of LGBT representation on television still has to go, the host of a US morning television show stormed off the set in a heated discussion over the kiss between Sam and his boyfriend.
He follows on the heels of another barrier breaker as athlete Jason Collins became the first openly gay player in the National Basketball League (NBA), signing with the Brooklyn Nets.
Despite the reaction by some, as this video shows, the sheer emotion shown by Sam on this historic occasion proves the milestone for the community this moment has proven to be.
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