Michael Sam becomes 1st openly gay play in NFL after being drafted by St. Louis Rams

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Michael Sam

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Rams drafted defensive end Michael Sam Saturday ending months of speculation to when (or if) the openly gay player would be selected by an NFL team.

Sam came out publicly in February while at Missouri announcing to his teammates prior to his senior year.

The draft decision is a historic moment for the league in a time when professional athletes are increasingly comfortable announcing their sexuality. Veteran NBA player Jason Collins came out last summer and plays for the New Jersey Nets.

While Sam’s sexuality was big news three months ago, his football skills have been more of an issue recently after a disappointing showing at the NFL scouting combine.

He is relatively short by NFL standards (6-foot-2 and 252) and he didn’t perform as well as some of the other top pass rushers in the class.