Missouri defensive end Michael Sam’s decision to tell the world he is gay could permanently impact athletes who are scared to reveal their sexual orientation.
And President Barack Obama supports Sam’s choice.
Sam’s homosexuality became public knowledge through several media outlets on Sunday. The response to his revelation has been mostly positive, except for former NFL receiver Patrick Crayton. Sam has been praised by many current and former players, and Obama was the latest to compliment Sam, who has become a household name in less than 24 hours.
In addition, Sam was also praised by First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
There has to be a certain sense of relief by Sam right now.
Instead of being the victim of a public backlash, Sam has been embraced by the NFL, NFLPA, the Obamas and Biden. It has been a great start to the acceptance he hoped for, and will optimistically receive in the NFL.
While Obama’s support is great to have, Sam needs at least one NFL team to believe in his athletic abilities and select him in the upcoming NFL draft. Most NFL draft analysts believe Sam will not be selected any higher than the third round, which means he has more to prove on-the-field than off-the-field. Once the media circus dies down, Sam still must prove he has what it takes to play in the NFL.
The Obamas and Biden support him, but Sam must hope there are NFL teams that share the same point of view.
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