25 Best Athlete Reactions to Michael Sam Coming Out
The 25 Best Athlete Reactions To Michael Sam Coming Out
Sam, in a meeting in August, told his fellow Missouri teammates and produced an excellent season for an improved Tigers defense. Sam finished with first-team All-American honors and was the SEC defensive player of the year with 11.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss.
The Twitter universe came to Sam's aid as numerous celebrities voiced their support for Sam's decision, including Michelle and Barack Obama, Ellen DeGeneres and Alyssa Milano. What was even more encouraging for Sam was the support from his fellow athletes, professionally and collegiately.
NFL higher ups like Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft have expressed that they would welcome Sam with open arms onto their respective teams. Sam is looking to follow MLS player Robbie Rogers as the only current athletes to play openly in a major league sport. Former Washington Wizards and NBA center Jason Collins came out late last season and has not been signed by another team since his announcement.
The NFL scouting combine is a mere two weeks, prompting several analysts to question why Sam chose this time to reveal his story. Mock Drafts have Sam somewhere slated from the third round to fifth round for a very talented pass rusher, which teams will always have interest in.
This collection is the 25 best Twitter reactions from athletes. The list is comprised of former teammates, players from other Missouri sports, other collegiate players and finally professionals from the past and the present.
23. Sage Rosenfels, Former NFL Quarterback
Former NFL journeyman quarterback Sage Rosenfels supported Sam and hinted at a shift in American ideology.
Congrats to Michael Sam for having the guts to come out. Congrats to the USA for progressing in a way that made the announcement easier.— Sage Rosenfels (@SageRosenfels18) February 10, 2014
22. Richie Incognito, Guard, Miami Dolphins
Say what you want about Richie Incognito's checkered past, but the embattled guard tweeted his support, clearly respecting what Sam did.
21. Chase Daniel, Former Missouri Tiger
Former Missouri Tiger and current backup Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Chase Daniel came to the support of one of his fellow Missouri alumni.
Had multiple convos with @MikeSamFootball this year, amazed at his honesty & courage! Once a tiger, ALWAYS a Tiger!— Chase Daniel (@ChaseDaniel) February 10, 2014
20. Pat McAfee, Punter, Indianapolis Colts
Current Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee gave a message not just to Sam, but to others who will look to follow Sam.
Good for Michael Sam.. Hopefully this'll inspire others to be comfortable and proud of who they are— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) February 10, 2014
19. Tom Crabtree, Tight End, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Current Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Tom Crabtree gave his support for Sam and also hinted where the NFL is at in terms of accepting everyone into their league.
Good for Michael Sam. Takes courage for where he is in his career and where we are as a league. I applaud him.— Tom Crabtree (@itsCrab) February 10, 2014
18. Damon Harrison, Defensive Tackle, New York Jets
Current New York Jets nose tackle Damon Harrison told everyone that America should accept everyone for who they are and respect everyone for what they bring to the table.
Accept a man for who he is, let us not pass judgement...congrats to that young man on his bravery!!— Damon Harrison (@BigDame900) February 10, 2014
17. Connor Barwin, Linebacker, Philadelphia Eagles
Fellow defender Connor Barwin of the Philadelphia Eagles gave an overwhelming message of support for a fellow defensive player trying to make his mark in the NFL Draft.
Happy for Michael Sam, much respect and best of luck in the draft.— Connor Barwin (@ConnorBarwin98) February 10, 2014
16. DeAngelo Williams, Running Back, Carolina Panthers
The current starting running back of the Carolina Panthers' DeAngelo Williams expressed what other NFL players have said about NFL locker rooms. As long as players produce, everyone will be accepted.
I could care less about a man's sexual preference! i care about winning games and being respectful in the locker room!— DeAngelo Williams (@DeAngeloRB) February 10, 2014
15. Keyshawn Johnson, Former NFL Wide Receiver
Current ESPN analyst Keyshawn Johnson gave a great message to Sam by not just breaking what seemed to be an impenetrable barrier, but wishing for success to a prospective NFL draftee.
Proud of Michael Sam. Broke down a barrier. Very courageous, best of luck on your NFL career.— Keyshawn Johnson (@Thromedamnball) February 10, 2014
14. Robbie Rogers, MLS, Los Angeles Galaxy
Los Angeles Galaxy forward Robbie Rogers was the first player to openly come out in any major sport and signed with the Galaxy after his announcement. Both Rogers and Sam have encouraged everyone to live the life they want to live.
Very happy for Michael Sam. His courage will inspire millions to live their truth.— Robbie Rogers (@robbierogers) February 10, 2014
13. Sammy Watkins, Clemson Wide Receiver
Former Clemson wide receiver and consensus top-five pick in next May's draft Sammy Watkins noted that all of us are made in God's image and that everyone has their own mistakes and flaws.
I respect Michael Sam big step he has made in his life so many people n this world Dat judge who are we to judge we all have flaws n secrets— Sammy Watkins (@sammywatkins) February 10, 2014
12. Jonathan Martin, Left Tackle, Miami Dolphins
Say what you want about Jonathan Martin, but Martin's words came from a player who had been treated unfairly in an NFL locker room for being different.
Hats off to you Michael Sam, that takes some guts #respect— Jonathan A. Martin (@J_Martin71) February 10, 2014
11. L'Damian Washington, Former Teammate
Former Missouri teammate L'Damian Washington encouraged not just Sam, but everyone that being different is OK, but standing up for yourself and your beliefs is the most important thing.
Dare to be different and stand for what you believe in! Congrats to my brother @MikeSamFootball— L'Damian Washington® (@Fe_Verdadera2) February 10, 2014
10. Laurence Bowers, Former Missouri Basketball Player
Former Missouri Tigers basketball player Laurence Bowers backed Sam and also recognized that there a select few who have the courage to share a personal secret to millions of people across the world.
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
9. Kurt Warner, Retired Quarterback
Future Hall of Fame QB Kurt Warner praised Sam for his courage and hoped that the NFL can treat him like he should be, a football player.
I appreciate the courage of @michaelsamfootball , now I pray the NFL world reflects that same courage & treats him like the athlete he is!— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) February 10, 2014
8. Deion Sanders, Hall of Fame Cornerback
The greatest defensive back of all-time, Deion Sanders showed his encouragement of Sam's tough decision and voiced his support of Sam being a vital member of an NFL organization.
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
7. Kony Ealy, Former Teammate
Former Missouri teammate and fellow defensive lineman Kony Ealy, who is a projected first-round pick, gave his praise to Sam and gave his former defensive line mate his support for Sam's journey onto an NFL roster.
6. Henry Josey, Former Teammate
Much like Morrison, few words can mean so much more. Coming from a teammate who endured his own adversity through numerous injuries, Missouri running back Henry Josey gave Sam his support for what Sam did this past Sunday.
Much Respect for Mike Sam #1Mizzou— Henry Josey (@I_AM_HJOSEY20) February 10, 2014
5. Abby Wambach, Team USA Women's Soccer
Quite possibly the greatest female soccer player in American history, Abby Wambach, gave her words of encouragement to Sam's and his announcement.
Michael Sam, super proud and happy for you! What courage. #trailblazing— Abby Wambach (@AbbyWambach) February 10, 2014
4. Malcolm Smith, Super Bowl MVP, Seattle Seahawks
Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith used his newfound stardom in the most effective way possible, by starting the discussion to dispel the notion that bigotry exists in sports.
There is no room for bigotry in American sports. It takes courage to change the culture.— Malcolm Smith (@MalcSmitty) February 10, 2014
3. Steve Gleason, Retired Safety
Former New Orleans Saints hero Steve Gleason has not only inspired many through his own struggles, but has also noticed another true hero in Sam.
It appears that @Mikesamfootball is a very high character guy. Beyond athletics, this is what u need in the locker room, & on the field. -SG— steve gleason (@TeamGleason) February 10, 2014
2. Jason Collins, NBA Free Agent Center
Former Washington Wizards center Jason Collins announced his coming out last April and supported a fellow athlete who did the same.
For the past 2 days I have met with @MikeSamFootball here in LA. He is a great young man who has shown tremendous courage and leadership— Jason Collins (@jasoncollins34) February 10, 2014
1. Magic Johnson, NBA Hall of Fame Point Guard
One of the greatest athletes to ever play team sports, Magic Johnson, using the experiences that he has had with his own family, gave the utmost confidence to Sam and his incredible decision to let the whole world know about his story.
I support Michael Sam for the courage it took to tell the world that he is gay.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) February 10, 2014