Who Is Michael Sam, The First Openly Gay NFL Player?

Learn all about Michael Sam, the first openly gay NFL player!

The first openly gay NFL star, Michael Sam, with his boyfriend, Vito Cammisano

Michael Sam just became the first ever openly gay NFL player when he got picked up by the St. Louis Rams in the NFL draft this week. That's a big deal! Get to know him better here.

Michael Sam doesn't just have hype because he's out and proud -- he's also just a darn good football player.
He had a stellar 2013 season at the University of Missouri, bringing the school to a 12-2 record for the season as well as to a trip to the SEC Championship and a victory at the Cotton Bowl.


Sam's teammates and coaches at the University of Missouri knew about his sexual orientation.
And guess what? Nobody really cared. Love that!

The NFL has embraced Sam with open arms ... for the most part.
Football agent Joe Barkett told Forbes, "It's been crazy, but all in a very positive way ... 98 percent of the reactions have been very positive. Not one negative comment from NFL circles.  He has actually heard from several NFL teams since he came out and they have told us they are very happy for Mike and want to congratulate him."

Of course, he faced some dissention.
New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma reportedly said, "I think that he would not be accepted as much as we think he would be accepted. I don't want people to just naturally assume, like, 'Oh, we're all homophobic.' That's really not the case. Imagine if he's the guy next to me and, you know, I get dressed, naked, taking a shower, the whole nine, and it just so happens he looks at me. How am I supposed to respond?" I dunno, by just not having sex with him?


He has a long-term boyfriend who he adores -- and who gave him moral support (and a sweet smooch) when he got the call about his draft pick.
Sam's boyfriend, Vito Cammisano, is an out and proud swimmer from the University of Missouri.

Michael Sam didn't want to be photographed or recorded during his draft pick.
He was nervous because he had about a 50-50 shot of getting picked up -- and if he didn't get picked up, he didn't want the world to see his disappointment. Luckily, instead they saw his joy!

He's already a winner!
Michael Sam is the winner of the 2014 Arthur Ashe Courage Award. And he deserves it! He'll accept the title on July 16 at the 2014 ESPY Awards.