On Saturday night, tears flooded Michael Sam’s face as he received the phone call when he learned he had been drafted into the NFL by the St. Louis Rams.
The seventh round, 249th overall pick was a dream for Sam, but it was also a historic event as he became the first openly gay athlete to be drafted into the NFL. Sam immediately embraced and kissed his boyfriend after hearing the news.
And. It. Was. Amazing.
Our friend waywaw made these amazing GIFs which perfectly capture the moment:
And if you didn’t see it already, or just need to see it again (and again), here’s the video:
Thank you to the St. Louis Rams and the whole city of St. Louis. I'm using every once of this to achieve greatness!! pic.twitter.com/QESdOJVzsw
— Michael Sam (@MikeSamFootball) May 10, 2014
Sam first revealed his sexuality publicly in an interview on ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” in February, 2014. When asked about the enormity of potentially being the first openly gay athlete in the NFL Sam said “I don’t really look at it like that. I’m Michael Sam and I’m a football player. I want to be a football player in the NFL.”
Sam received accolades from many, including President Barack Obama, who in a White House statement said “From the playing field to the corporate boardroom, LGBT Americans prove everyday that you should be judged by what you do and not who you are.”
On Twitter, Sam was celebrated by some of Hollywood’s biggest fans. John Legend said the occasion was a “victory for LOVE.”
Congratulations to Michael Sam. It's a victory for LOVE.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) May 10, 2014
“Spiderman-2″ actor Dane DeHaan called Sam his favorite football player.
— Dane DeHaan (@danedehaan) May 11, 2014
Openly gay NBA athlete Jason Collins called Sam’s selection a “great pick.”
— Jason Collins (@jasoncollins34) May 10, 2014