Missouri All-American defensive lineman and potential NFL draft pick Michael Sam seems to be getting a large amount of positive public support after announcing Sunday that he is gay.
First Lady Michelle Obama took to Twitter to praise Sam.
You're an inspiration to all of us, @MikeSamFootball. We couldn't be prouder of your courage both on and off the field. -mo— FLOTUS (@FLOTUS) February 10, 2014
Two professional athletes who came out as gay within the last year -- NBA free agent Jason Collins and the Galaxy's Robbie Rogers -- both say Sam consulted with them before making his announcement. Both of them have been offering their support ever since.
For the past 2 days I have met with @MikeSamFootball here in LA. He is a great young man who has shown tremendous courage and leadership— Jason Collins (@jasoncollins34) February 10, 2014
Very happy for Michael Sam. His courage will inspire millions to live their truth.— Robbie Rogers (@robbierogers) February 10, 2014
Although some speculate that Sam's sexual orientation could negatively his draft impact status as well as the culture in whatever locker room he ends up in, the SEC's leading tackler seems to have received generally positive reactions from all over the league, including from some legendary players and the current Super Bowl MVP.
I appreciate the courage of @michaelsamfootball , now I pray the NFL world reflects that same courage & treats him like the athlete he is!— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) February 10, 2014
I applaud Missouri DE @MichaelSamfootball for his bravery & honesty about who he is. I pray he gets a opportunity 2 play the game he loves!— DeionSanders (@DeionSanders) February 10, 2014
Michael Sam isn't the 1st gay player in the NFL although he is the 1st 2 come out.#realtalk Let's show him love like a family member. Truth— DeionSanders (@DeionSanders) February 10, 2014
There is no room for bigotry in American sports. It takes courage to change the culture.— Malcolm Smith (@MalcSmitty) February 10, 2014
According to multiple media reports, Richie Incognito, the Miami Dolphins guard who was suspended much of last season following allegations of bullying and harassment, tweeted this uplifting message Sunday night: "@MikeSamFootball #respect bro. It takes guts to do what you did. I wish u nothing but the best."
That tweet apparently has since been deleted from Incognito's Twitter feed.