Michael Sam comes out as gay while he prepares for NFL Combine

University of Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, an NFL draft prospect, announced Sunday he was gay. If he joins the NFL, he would be the first openly gay player to play in the NFL.

Sam, who is projected to play linebacker in the NFL, shared the SEC's Defensive Player of the Year award. He is projected to be a mid-round selection in May's NFL Draft.

Sam told The New York Times and ESPN that he first came out to his teammates in August prior to the season. He said they supported him better than he could have imagined.

  • NFL.com reported on the tweets sent out by NFL players in reaction to Sam's announcement, much of which was supportive.

-- Bill Bradley, contributing editor

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