May 13 - The former University of Missouri linebacker could be the first openly gay professional football player, if he makes the team. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
▲ Hide Transcript
▶ View Transcript
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
Defensive end Michael Sam of the University of Missouri became the first openly gay player to be selected in a National Football League Draft when he was taken in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday.
Sam, the co-defensive player of the year in the Southeastern Conference who announced he was gay in February, would become the first openly gay player in the NFL should he make the team's 53-man regular season roster this summer.
The defensive end was taken on the 249th pick in the last round of the three-day draft at Radio City Music Hall.
If he makes the team, Sam would become the second openly gay player in one of North America's four major professional team sports following basketball's Jason Collins, who joined the NBA's Brooklyn Nets this season.
The 6-feet-2 (1.88 m), 260-pound (118 kg) Sam led the conference in sacks and in tackles for a loss, but waited until seven picks before the end of the draft to hear his name called after his stock fell following mediocre results at February's scouting combine.
Despite his success at Missouri, talent evaluators had said Sam might struggle to fit in on the field over concerns he might be too small to play regularly on the defensive line and not athletic enough to play in space as a linebacker.
Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code