A number of lawmakers came out in support of college football star Michael Sam on Sunday for coming out as gay over the weekend.
Sam, a defensive lineman, revealed his sexual orientation in an interview with ESPN over the weekend. He plays for the University of Missouri, and could wind up being the first openly gay player in the National Football League (NFL).
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) of Missouri said Sam made her have #Missou pride. She earned her bachelor’s and law degrees at the university.
Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), an openly gay member of Congress, called Sam's move "brave."
A brave move by @MikeSamFootball. I'm incredibly proud of him and I'm excited to see a team make history.— Mark Takano (@RepMarkTakano) February 10, 2014
Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) tweeted Monday morning he’s rooting for Sam.
Regardless what #NFL team drafts him, I’m rooting for Michael Sam -- not for all his sacks, but because of cultural barrier he just smashed.— Senator Jack Reed (@SenJackReed) February 10, 2014
Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley (Ore.) tweeted Sam showed “real character and courage.”
Michael Sam is showing some real character and courage! I wish him well.— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) February 10, 2014
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) tweeted a link to the ESPN interview and called him “courageous.” He also tweeted a link to a separate report on Sports Illustrated’s website in which eight NFL coaches and executives said Sam would have a hard time in the drafting process. Coons called it “cowardly.”
Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) tweeted the sources in the Sports Illustrated story need to “get over” themselves.
I wish I could believe the sources in this story aren't representative of the NFL's views on gay players. http://t.co/CAPDJqcfyo— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) February 10, 2014