COLUMBIA — Former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam announced Sunday he is gay.
Following are tweets sent by celebrities, athletes and other prominent people since the announcement.
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
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
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
Standing strong with #Mizzou's Michael Sam. Onward to the NFL!— Governor Jay Nixon (@GovJayNixon) February 10, 2014
Dare to be different and stand for what you believe in! Congrats to my brother @MikeSamFootball— L'Damian Washington® (@Fe_Verdadera2) February 10, 2014
Much Respect for Mike Sam #1Mizzou— Henry Josey (@I_AM_HJOSEY20) February 10, 2014
Our coaches and players knew all along about this and noone said anything. Just show the amount of respect we have for our family.— Kentrell Brothers✈✈ (@Kentrell_Mizzou) February 10, 2014
Nothing but respect for my bro Michael Sam and what he did today. Takes a lot of courage to let the world in on something so personal. #MIZ— Laurence Bowers (@LBowers_21) February 10, 2014
In a preseason team-building exercise, Sam first told his team about his sexual orientation, according to The New York Times.
"I looked in their eyes, and they just started shaking their heads — like, finally, he came out," Sam said in an interview with The New York Times.
If drafted, Sam, 24, would be the first active gay NFL player.
"Once I became official to my teammates, I knew who I was," Sam said to The New York Times' John Branch. "I knew that I was gay. And I knew that I was Michael Sam, who's a Mizzou football player who happens to be gay. I was so proud of myself and I just didn't care who knew. If someone on the street would have asked me, ‘Hey, Mike, I heard you were gay. Is that true?' I would have said yes."
Sam, an all-American and the Associated Press' SEC Defensive Player of the Year, publicly announced his sexual orientation Sunday.
"I am an openly, proud gay man," Sam said in an interview with ESPN.
Sam's teammates were accepting and occasionally accompanied him to gay clubs according to Outsports.com, the SB Nation blog for gay sports coverage.