President Barack Obama has congratulated Michael Sam on becoming the first openly gay professional football player to be drafted into the NFL.
“The President congratulates Michael Sam, the Rams and the NFL for taking an important step forward today in our Nation’s journey,” said an official White House statement. “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.”
The 24-year-old Sam — an All American defensive end who played for the University of Missouri and came out as gay at the end of the 2013 season — was chosen by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh and final round of last week’s NFL draft.
The historic moment was punctuated on live television when an emotional Sam was shown kissing his boyfriend after getting the congratulatory call from Rams coach Jeff Fisher during ESPN’s coverage of the draft.