Michael Sam: St. Louis Ram, First Openly Gay NFL Draftee

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Michael Sam: St. Louis Ram, First Openly Gay NFL Draftee
Michael Sam became the first openly gay drafted player in the NFL after the St. Louis Rams pick him in the 7th round as the 249th overall choice.
SHOW TRANSCRIPT

In a historic move, the St. Louis Rams picked Michael Sam in the 2014 NFL draft making him the first openly gay player to be drafted.

Sam was drafted in the last round and people were unsure whether the Missouri defensive end would get the call. But when he did, the emotions were strong. (Via ABC / "Good Morning America")

This footage from ESPN  shows Michael Sam's reaction when he got the good news from Rams head coach Jeff Fisher while being surrounded by his friends and loved ones. 

Following Sam's selection, Rams Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson tweeted "Congrats to Michael Sam on becoming a St. Louis Ram. Welcome to the Rams family." And Rams Pro Bowl defensive end Robert Quinn tweeted "Welcome to the squad Michael Sam #D-LineShowtime".

Sam himself tweeted a thank you to the Rams saying "Thank you to the St. Louis Rams and the whole city of St. Louis. I'm using every [ounce] of this to achieve greatness!!" 

And in an interview with ESPN, coach Fisher commented on what some see as a controversial decision, saying: "I don't have any concern whatsoever. We drafted a good football player."

Sam has received several awards in the past year including being named a first-team All-American and 2013 SEC defensive player of the year by the Associated Press. He will also receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2014 ESPYS on July 16.

But with this being only the first step for Sam in his NFL career, The New York Times writes that he still has work to do:

"Now that Sam has been drafted, the hard work will begin anew. There is no guarantee he will make the Rams, and he will have to impress Coach Jeff Fisher and battle other rookies and veterans for a spot on the team’s 53-man roster."

Wade Davis, a former NFL player who is gay, sees Sam's story as inspirational, telling USA Today "Young kids can now turn on their televisions and see that Wow, I can say that in my lifetime I saw the very first openly gay NFL player."

Sam will join fellow 2014 draftee and former University of Missouri teammate E.J. Gaines when they suit up for the Rams this season.