UFC 184:

Shutdown Corner

NFL draft prospect Michael Sam stars in new Visa commercial (video)

In this Feb. 15, 2014, file photo, Missouri's All-American defensive end Michael Sam claps during the Cotton Bowl trophy presentation at halftime of an NCAA college basketball game between Missouri and Tennessee in Columbia, Mo.  Sam has been selected the winner of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. The Missouri defensive end who likely will be drafted by an NFL team this weekend, will receive the award given to individuals who transcend sports at The 2014 ESPYs on July 16
.

View photo

FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2014, file photo, Missouri's All-American defensive end Michael Sam claps during the Cotton Bowl trophy presentation at halftime of an NCAA college basketball game between Missouri and Tennessee in Columbia, Mo. Sam has been selected the winner of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. The Missouri defensive end who likely will be drafted by an NFL team this weekend, will receive the award given to individuals who transcend sports at The 2014 ESPYs on July 16. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson, File)

Michael Sam, who is set to become the NFL's first openly gay player, finally has a major endorsement deal.

Sam, the SEC’s co-defensive player of the year, currently appears in a new ad for Visa. He revealed his sexual orientation during an interview in February.

"We felt that Michael's story was a perfect fit for our 'everywhere' campaign, which is meant to inspire people to reach their own personal goals and aspirations," Visa's Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Burke told ESPN.com. "We wish Michael the best on and off the field as he embarks on the next chapter of his life."

Sam is currently waiting to be selected in this year’s NFL draft. He is expected to be a mid-to-late round draft pick, which means Sam could hear his name called on Friday or Saturday. Sam previously turned down requests by ESPN and the NFL Network to follow him during the draft process.

The theme of Sam’s commercial is a cry for people to judge him for his success or failures on the football field. So far, Sam is getting his wish. Sam’s sexual orientation has not been the topic of conversation during the draft, and most NFL observers view him as an above average football player who will have to make a roster as a special teams player.

Apparently, Sam does not have a problem with that.

- - - - - - -

Anwar S Richardson is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at NFLAnwar@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @AnwarRichardson

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Baseball
View Comments (54)