Missouri defensive end, Michael Sam, made history on Saturday (May 10, 2014), when he became the first openly gay athlete to be drafted into the NFL. Sam was announced at the 249th pick to be drafted by the the St. Louis Rams.
Back in February, Sam announced he was gay, immediately becoming the first openly gay NFL hopeful.
Sam’s emotional response was filmed while receiving the phone call from the Rams coach, Jeff Fisher. His was surrounded by his close family and friends as well as his boyfriend, who’d been standing by his side.
Of being drafted Sam said in a statement: “The moment my name was called was the single greatest moment of my life.”
He adds, “I am overwhelmed, I am excited and I’m proud to be a Ram. I knew I was going to get picked somewhere and every team that passed me I was thinking of how I am going to sack their quarterback.”
The Rams’ draft of Sam adds another historical moment in the franchise. In 1946, the Rams signed Kenny Washington, the first African-American football player in the history of modern day football.
“This is the second historic moment in the history of this franchise,” Fisher said. “From that standpoint, from a historic standpoint, I’m honored to be a part of that.”
The athlete also tweeted later, “Thank you to the St. Louis Rams and the whole city of St. Louis. I’m using every ounce of this to achieve greatness!!”
The White House, on behalf of President Barack Obama, also released a statement expressing congratulations to the athlete.
“The President congratulates Michael Sam, the Rams and the NFL for taking an important step forward today in our Nation’s journey,” the statement, which a White House official emailed to ABC News, read. “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.”