PHILADELPHIA (CBS) Michael Sam made history Saturday afternoon, becoming the first openly gay athlete to be selected in the NFL Draft. With the 249th overall selection in the 2014 NFL draft, the St. Louis Rams made Sam, 6’1″, 261-pound defensive lineman from Missouri, their 7th round selection.
Sam said in a statement: “The moment my name was called was the single greatest moment of my life.”
Sam, who announced he was gay before the NFL combine in February, was the SEC defensive player of the year in 2013 recording 11.5 sacks.
“SEC Defensive Player of the Year, unanimous All-American, I should have gone in the top three rounds easily,” Sam said. “But you know what? It is what it is. I’m happy to be a St. Louis Ram. Everything else is history.”
Sam was shown kissing his boyfriend shortly after hearing by phone that he was going to be a St. Louis Ram. An NFL player expressed discomfort with the reaction. Don Jones, a Miami Dolphins safety, used words like “OMG” and “horrible” in tweets, which were later deleted. Jones apologized for his comments, but was fined and removed from team activities by the Dolphins.
The raw video of Sam’s reaction, which went viral on YouTube, was about a minute and a half long showing Sam weeping on the phone followed by affection from his boyfriend.
Former NFL running back and Super Bowl champion, Derrick Ward, tweeted this: