St. Louis Rams Draft Michael Sam, the NFL’s First Openly Gay Player

Huge sports news, especially on this night in Philly, when the Philadelphia Soul is hosting America’s first pro-football LGBT-awareness game. Michael Sam has been drafted by the St. Louis Rams, making him the nation’s first openly gay player to be drafted by the NFL. More from the New York Times.

Over seven rounds of the N.F.L. draft, general managers, coaches and scouts chose more than 200 players, from sure-fire stars to punters and all-but anonymous lineman from tiny Division II football programs.

One player seemingly no N.F.L. team wanted Michael Sam, a consensus all-American at Missouri and The Associated Press’ defensive player of the year in the S.E.C., college football’s most competitive conference. Sam was also the first publicly gay player waiting to be drafted.

Finally, after nearly seven numbing hours of picks on Saturday, the third and final day of the draft, Mike Kensil, an N.F.L. employee walked to the podium and read Sam’s name. Cheers erupted among the several hundred fans still left at Radio City Music Hall.

Sam’s draft status was seen as barometer of whether the N.F.L. was ready to accept an openly gay player, particularly since the N.B.A. had already broken that barrier earlier this year when Jason Collins joined the Brooklyn Nets.

This is how the Rams announced the big occasion:

Many congrats to Sam. We’ve been waiting for this one for a long time. History!