Rams Draft Michael Sam, First Openly Gay Player

College star came out in February

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted May 10, 2014 7:06 PM CDT

(Newser) – The St. Louis Rams and Michael Sam made a little NFL history this evening, and in the nick of time. The Rams selected the star defensive end with the 249th overall pick in the NFL draft—out of 256 players—making him the first openly gay player ever drafted to play in the league, reports USA Today. The 24-year-old, who played his college ball nearby at Missouri, watched the selection from his home in San Diego, with his boyfriend by his side, reports AP.

"Thank you to the St. Louis Rams and the whole city of St. Louis," Sam tweeted afterward, along with a picture of himself in a Rams cap. "I'm using every [ounce] of this to achieve greatness!!" From a football point of view, the 6-2, 260-pound Sam is smaller than most defensive ends and will likely become a "situational pass rusher," reports the St. Louis Post Dispatch. But the newspaper notes that his scouting report had an unusual addition: a warning about the media craziness sure to follow him.

In this Feb. 15, 2014, photo, Missouri's All-American defensive end Michael Sam claps during the Cotton Bowl trophy presentation at halftime of an NCAA college basketball game.
In this Feb. 15, 2014, photo, Missouri's All-American defensive end Michael Sam claps during the Cotton Bowl trophy presentation at halftime of an NCAA college basketball game.   (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson, File)
In this image taken from video, Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, left, gets a kiss at a draft party in San Diego.
In this image taken from video, Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, left, gets a kiss at a draft party in San Diego.   (AP Photo/ESPN)
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