(See video of the moment he received the news below, with boyfriend, Vito Cammisano).
“The moment my name was called was the single greatest moment of my life” Michael said in a statement after the announcement was made on Saturday. Speaking with local media, he added that while he was aware that he may very well become America’s first openly-gay NFL athlete, his sporting abilities are what should be most important.
According to ESPN, the University of Missouri player said:
“Let me tell you something, if we were playing the Vikings right now, I’d probably have three sacks the first game. Since February and my big announcement, this has been a whole [lot of] speculation of the first openly gay football player, but you know what? It’s not about that. It’s about playing football.”
“Can Michael Sam play football? Yes, I can,” he added, “and the St. Louis Rams know I can. I am going to give everything I’ve got to the St. Louis Rams to help the Rams win a championship.”
Last Saturday evening, President Barack Obama congratulated Michael with an official statement, released from the White House:
“The President congratulates Michael Sam, the Rams and the NFL for taking an important step forward in our Nation’s journey. 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.”
ESPN also reported that the St. Louis Rams have been progressive in their selection process in the past. In 1946, the Rams signed Kenny Washington, which the sports channel describes as “the first African-American football player in the modern era of the NFL”.
Below is a clip of the moment Michael was called to be told that he had been drafted by the St. Louis Rams. The news is celebrated with Michael’s friends, including 23 year-old boyfriend Vito Cammisano, whom he is seen kissing and hugging in the video as he received the news.