Michael Sam drafted by Rams, becomes first openly gay active NFL player

May 10, 2014

Michael Sam (file photo)
Credit Karen Mitchell / KBIA

  The St. Louis Rams drafted former University of Missouri football player Michael Sam Saturday, making him the first openly gay active player in the National Football League.

Sam was picked in seventh and final round of the draft, with the 249th overall pick (of the 256 players taken in the draft). In February, Sam came out as gay in a story in the New York Times. Sam was the SEC co-defensive player of the year with 11.5 sacks for the Missouri Tigers in the 2013 season.

Rams head coach Jeff Fisher told ESPN everyone in the organization, including owner (and Columbia resident) Stan Kroenke, were on board with the decision. He says he will discuss the situation with his player soon, but doesn’t anticipate any problems, saying he has a “mature team.”

Fisher told ESPN’s Suzy Kolber “(Sam)’s a player that was graded much higher on our draft board, as most teams have him, and he fell, and we weren’t gonna miss out on this opportunity to add an outstanding football player to our program.”

To see KBIA's previous coverage of Michael Sam, follow the links below.