Michael Sam to receive Arthur Ashe Courage Award

May 8, 2014

Michael Sam
Credit Karen Mitchell / KBIA

Former University of Missouri defensive end Michael Sam has been selected to receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY’s in July.

The award was named after the famous tennis player who campaigned to raise awareness about AIDS after being diagnosed with the disease. University of Missouri’s LGBTQ Resource Center Coordinator Struby Struble said after coming out about being gay,  Sam has embodied the principles of the award by exemplifying bravery and audacity in the world of sports

“I really enjoy that the ESPY’s are honoring him both for coming out in a space where there aren’t a lot of people who are out yet, and for everything else he’s overcome,” Struble said . “It speaks to the true courage of the award.”

This weekend, Sam will enter the NFL draft in hopes of becoming the first openly gay NFL player in the league.