AFTER seven rounds and 248 other players, Michael Sam became the first openly-gay player to be selected by an NFL team during the NFL’s annual draft in the US earlier today.

Drafted by the St Louis Rams, the former University of Missouri defensive end was viewed by many as being a barometer as to whether or not the NFL was ready to accept an openly-gay player within their ranks, particularly in light of Jason Collins having broken that particular barrier for the NBA with the Brooklyn Nets earlier this year.

Sam, who was also a consensus all-American at Missouri and The Associated Press‘ Defensive Player of the Year in the Southeastern Conference, which is considered American College Football’s most competitive conference, was quick to take to Twitter after it was announced that the Rams had drafted him for the upcoming football season.

 

“Thank you to the St. Louis Rams and the whole city of St. Louis,” Sam said, not long after he was shown on ESPN kissing his boyfriend at the moment that he received the news of his drafting. The news of Sam’s recruitment was equally received by the St Louis Rams playing base both past and present, with Eric Dickerson who is Hall of Fame Running Back for the Rams swiftly tweeting: 

However, while there was all round compliments for both Sam and the St Louis Rams, there was also concern from some commentators and retired NFL players over how long it took for Sam to be drafted by an NFL team, given his college football credentials. Deion Sanders, who is a television commentator and former NFL player tweeted before Sam’s drafting:

 

 

This was soon followed by a tweet from retired Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Sage Rosenfels that he was deeply surprised as to how low Sam’s draft pick was:

 

Michael Sam will now head to the St Louis Ram’s Training Camp, where he will compete against other rookies and veterans alike for a spot on the St Louis Rams’ 55 man team roster.

Watch the emotional video of Michael Sam reacting to the news of his NFL draft:

 

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