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Missouri DE Michael Sam Could Become NFL's First Openly Gay Player

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Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri defensive Michael Sam is set to be the first publicly gay player in the history of the NFL. Sam, a co-defensive MVP at Missouri this past season, is expected to be a mid-round draft pick in this year's upcoming 2014 NFL Draft. Sam came out as publicly gay in interviews with ESPN, the New York Times, and SB Nation's own OutSports.

Once I became official to my teammates, I knew who I was," Sam told John Branch of the New York Times. "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. But no one asked. I guess they don't want to ask a 6-3, 260-pound defensive lineman if he was gay or not."

"I want to own my truth."

Sam publicly coming out as gay is a major step in the right direction towards tolerance and acceptance. Today is a good day.