Michael Sam, the Missouri defensive end, was drafted by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday, making him the first openly gay player to sign with an NFL team.

Michael Sam Drafted

Sam, 24, went in the seventh round, becoming the 249th pick overall. Though such a late pick is typically not met with much fanfare, Sam’s draft elicited a chorus of cheers at Radio City Music Hall when NFL VP Mike Kensil took to the podium to announce that Sam had been drafted, reported the New York Daily News.

While Sam’s drafting was celebrated at the venue, the athlete received the news at his agent’s home in San Diego, where he was joined by his boyfriend. After tearfully accepting the news that the Rams had picked him up for his on-field talents, he hugged and kissed his boyfriend.

Back in February, Sam made the bold decision to come out as gay in an interview with ESPN and The New York Times. In his senior season at Missouri, Sam was a force to be reckoned with, giving a performance that made him an obvious draft pick. However, during the NFL combine in Indianapolis, the 6-foot-2, 261-pound DE didn’t impress; his 40-yard dash was clocked at 4.91 seconds. However, his strength and first step still made him a contender.


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After his initial emotional reaction to learning that he’d been drafted, Sam took to Twitter to thank the Rams for selecting him.

“The Rams know what the hell they’re doing,” Sam said in a post-draft interview. “From last season alone, I should have been in the first three rounds. We’re going to rock it. Next season and all the season to come, we’re gonna be rocking in St. Louis.”

In his coming out interview earlier this year, Sam stated his desire to be in he NFL and to be considered first and foremost as a football player.

“I’m just Michael Sam and I’m a football player,” Sam told ESPN. “I want to be a football player in the NFL. I understand how big this is, because 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.

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