NEW YORK – The franchise that was first to design a helmet and sign an African-American player added one more notch to its trendsetting ways on Saturday afternoon.

The St. Louis Rams selected Hitchcock native Michael Sam with the 249th pick of the National Football League draft, bringing the first openly gay player into its family.

The selection was the culmination of a nearly three-month journey for the former Missouri standout, who came out in early February.

“Thank you to the St. Louis Rams & the whole city of St. Louis. I’m using every ounce of this to achieve greatness,” Sam tweeted.

Sam, the 2013 Southeastern Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year, will begin his professional career 125 miles away from the University of Missouri, where he played his college ball.

The reaction in Hitchcock was one of joy, as one of Sam’s longtime friends expressed the sentiments of the city.

“He’s going to be just fine. Going to the Rams was the most perfect scenario for him,” Derrick Guidry, who has known the Sam family for years, said. “Michael has the mentality to handle what is coming at him. He’s always just wanted to play football, and now it’s up to him to make his dream become a reality.”

ESPN caught the emotional moment when Sam received the phone call from Rams head coach Jeff Fisher. Sam was openly weeping before he embraced his boyfriend.

Much of the talk during Saturday’s final four rounds centered on whether Sam would be drafted. His draft stock, which was originally considered in the middle rounds, began to drop after shaky showings at both the NFL Combine and at Missouri’s Pro Day.

As the draft began to wind down, the options for Sam also dimmed, before the Rams came knocking.

“It’s a great day for Michael and his family,” New Jersey Nets center Jason Collins, who is gay, said before the Nets’ Game 3 contest against the Miami Heat. “It takes more and more people to come forward and show that we are human beings.”

In Dallas, Michael Sam Sr. said he had no doubt that someone would draft his son.

“St. Louis is a good organization,” said the elder Sam, who immediately sent a text of congratulations to his son. “He’s already got a fan base that knows who he is and has already embraced him for who he is.

“He’ll make the team with his special teams work, but I’ll tell you what: Once he grabs ahold of the defensive schemes, he’s going to be tough to handle. He has always been that way, and will continue to be.”

Saturday also wrapped up a stretch that saw Sam receive his first endorsement deal when he signed with Visa on Thursday. He was also informed that he would be the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award from ESPN during its annual ESPYs show in July.

Sam was the second Galveston County player selected in the draft. Ball High’s Mike Evans, who played at Texas A&M, was chosen by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the seventh overall pick.


(34) comments

Andy Aycoth

Did you know he is gay!

Steve Fouga


Lars Faltskog

Yes, his being gay is in the article. Listen, folks...our country is changing. Might as well get used to it. Relax with a few lite beers and be glad we're progressing like most of Europe and Canada already has.

MG Tex

@svierge1 ... If you are using Europe and Canada as beacons of enlightenment issues, the I feel bad for you. Yes, congrats on the young man being drafted in the NFL. But the media congratulating him on being "courageous" because he is gay?? How about just celebrating that he is a good football player, not a gay football player. How many other 7th round players just happened to have mentioned that they "embraced" their girlfriend, or received endorsement deals from Major corporations??

Carlos Ponce

sverige, before you write about "progressing like most of Europe" look into the racism in European soccer where they throw bananas at black athletes:
"Atalanta (Italy) fans throw banana at AC Milan players in latest racist incident",
"Bananas and monkey chants: Is racism endemic in Spanish football -CNN"
"Concerns About Racism Precede European Soccer Championships" -NYTIMES
Have Europeans really PROGRESSED?

Lars Faltskog

Response to carlosrponce posted at 9:17 am on Mon, May 12, 2014:

Yes, Europeans have progressed more than we have on many fronts. Take the women's ability to go topless at the beaches - there, but mostly not here. (Hippy Hollow and other nudist colonies as exception). Here in the US, somehow a woman's bare chest is naughty, debase and inappropriate. Yet, our fat Uncle Sidney can parade around, and it's OK if his manboobs are a'hangin for all to see.

Carlos Ponce

So, you call throwing bananas at black athletes and making monkey chants at black athletes "Progress". In Belgium they are called "dirty apes". Racist banners were unfurled in France. Germany denied Blacks entry into nightclubs. There are hundreds of other examples from every European country, usually racial slurs, slogans and unkind gestures. So much for the "progress" shown by Europeans.
As for Canada, racist remarks were aimed at P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens.
When I took my mom to her doctor I saw pictures of Old Galveston Beaches. The men and women were covered from neck to ankle. Perhaps the higher incidence of skin cancer is not due to the thinning ozone layer but to the over exposure of skin. And the Bible calls for modesty in dress for all people for a reason. "Lead us not into temptation." And quite frankly, there are some people, male and female on the beach, who SHOULD be covered up.

Leonce Thierry

Michael Sam in an exception defensive football player. While at Missouri, he played defensive end where he was only 6'2" and 260. The prototype defensive end in the NFL is much larger and tends to be stronger. JJ Watt stands 6'6" and goes about 290. However, if Michael Sam can be converted to an outside linebacker, with his size and strength, he could be a beast at that position. If he loses weight and comes in at 6'2" and 245-250, he would be a linebacker similar to Clay Matthews of Green Bay. Let's hope that when he sacks a QB or makes a hard hit on a running back, there won't be gay jokes about a QB being sacked by a gay player. Running and tackling are the normal order of football. If Michael Sam can be respected for what he can do on the football field, then we should all celebrate his ability. And if, indeed, he truly was a 3rd round talent taken as the 249th out of 256 spots in the Draft, the other teams who passed on him will look silly for having done so.

Lars Faltskog

Response to mgtex posted at 8:37 am on Mon, May 12, 2014:

You sound envious that a vibrant, local football player who happens to be gay has made national spotlight. And, yes...we hear stories all the time about how football players have lovely and beautiful girlfriends. That is wonderful too.

Did y'all hear about the prom senior who got his wish by having a Texans cheerleader "be his date" to the prom? Right there is an example of an "embrace" between a technically underaged young man and a grown woman going on a "date". Our heterosexual world is also very much on display in our families and in the public media. Your Captain Obvious point is well taken. [wink]

MG Tex

name one 7th round pick that showed the player kiss his girlfriend then smear cake on her face and kiss her again ... name one 7th round pick that received major corporate endorsements, and some fictitious courage award because of who he wants to have sex with.

I am very happy for the young man to acheive his life's dream of playing professional football. I am just sad that a country founded on Judeo Christian principles now criticizes those who speak the truth about God's word, and then glorify actions that directly oppose His word and then call it courageous. Often this is the same group that preaches tolerance of other viewpoints ... So my viewpoint that flaunting homosexuality as normal is abnormal ... Where is the tolerance of MY opinion?

I haven't criticized the young man, or expressed anything but happiness and a wish for success for him. But I do have the right to say he is acting directly against God's word and that should not be glorified. Just as actions against him should be accepted.


I'm kind of confused when the word progressed is "CHUNKED" around as it has been here. Should the word "EVOLVED" be used instead? I mean President Obama used that word in justifying his switch away from a position he held before he was elected to office. So I'm just wondering if that word would be more appropriate than the word progressed. Also,...remember there are still hundreds of thousands of us in this country who have not EVOLVED away from what GOD calls right and what He calls wrong!

Kevin Lang

JBG, there is no such thing as "evolution". [beam]

Lars Faltskog

Response to carlosrponce posted at 10:59 am on Mon, May 12, 2014:

No, YOU are calling throwing bananas to black athletes "progress". That was the subject matter and the words that you originally brought up. The records of text on this forum can show that is your "baby", not mine.

I suppose it can be said that "in general" (with the exceptions of incidents which you describe - mostly from early 20th century, and other limited exceptions) general, Europe has been ahead of the US in regards to the liberation of the sexes and social issues. A good example are Sweden, Chech Republic and Denmark's legalization of prostitution and the adult porno industry. Such countries do not have the hangups that we have, and they allow adults to freely assemble because...well...because they are consenting adults.

Carlos Ponce

NO, you sverige, brought up how "we're progressing like most of Europe and Canada" and I've proven that they are not progressing and have given examples or their incivility. If you call the legalization of prostitution being "ahead of us" then I would rather stay behind. As Billy Joel puts it, "And if that's what you had in mind,
yeah, if that's what you're all about..Good luck moving up, cause I'm moving out."

George Croix

Tomorrow, there will be a news conference where all the heterosexual players announce their orientation.
They simply feel compelled to do so....there's no money or publicity in ot for them...

Lars Faltskog

Response to carlosrponce posted at 11:49 am on Mon, May 12, 2014:

Poor carlosrponce...the modern world is passing by as he clings to the "old ways". I know things aren't always what they seemed. I just got through reading about that nun from decades ago. She was the singing nun, seemed happy and content back then. Then, committed suicide in the mid 80s. She didn't find happiness, but at least she knew that the cloistered nunnery life wasn't the path for her.

It's easy for us to say "this isn't right, this is wrong" on the moral front. but let's just say that in this USA "land of the free", people are tired of others telling who they can love and what they can do.

So, for you and geocroix who can't stand to see one of our own (and I mean one of our own from Galveston county) be successful and get recognition, then you are sad cases indeed. Be happy for Mr. Sam. I bet his moral compass is no worse than yours or mine.

Carlos Ponce

Better for the world to pass me by than Heaven, Viva Cristo Rey! I did not teach Michael but I taught in the same building, I wish him well. It seems that I am not judging him but you are.

Lars Faltskog

Response to mgtex posted at 11:26 am on Mon, May 12, 2014:

Well, I'm going to be amongst the many folks who glorify the likes of Michael Sam and I applaud his "lifestyle" and anyone elses who loves fellow mankind/womankind and brings a positive light to whoever they meet, instead of bringing them down b/c of who they happen to love.

And all your hooey about he and others "not living God's word" is just that - hooey. God loves Sam and his boyfriend. He/She loves Oprah, Ellen Degeneres, Barack Obama, you and me. But, God may not like you taking His/Her place of judgement of what's "right and wrong". He/She will forgive you nonetheless.

Carlos Ponce

sverige, I love my Lord and Savior Yeshua (Jesus Christ) and follow his teachings yet you are always bringing me and my beliefs down. But you are right when you say God loves everyone. He loves the sinner but not their sin. And I am a sinner. I never knew anyone alive on this planet who wasn't a sinner. What we know of right and wrong we get from scripture and we are duty bound to warn people that are on the wrong path.

If you see your brother standing by the road
With a heavy load from the seeds he's sowed
And if you see your sister falling by the way
Just stop and say "You're going the wrong way"

You got to try a little kindness, yes show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness then you'll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets.

Lars Faltskog

Well, carlosrponce -
I believe that Glen Campbell 1st made that song popular. Right now, he's in his middle to late stages of Alzheimers. I wonder if we asked him if one of his daughters came up to him and said she was lesbian, if he would love and accept her.

I would bet "yes". Life is short. I think Mr. Campbell would want anyone he knows to be happy with who they are. When your life is about to end, all of the "God judgement" hooey days goe far by the wayside.

Carlos Ponce

I'll say a prayer for you sverige. From what I read of your posts you don't get Christianity at all. I teach 7th grade Catechism and they are far wiser that what you project.

MG Tex

@sverige ... You couldn't have proven my point any better. ... You judged me for a simle opinion, then called God's word hooey ...

I pray Jesus's love truly finds your heart. I love all people, but DO know Gd hates sin. It is not for me to judge, but to acknowledge His word. If you think it is hooey, then thats your issue, and I pray for you.

ole dad

sverige1, you seem like a very confused unhappy person. Chill, no one's after you for what you and Michael believe they just don't agree with you. This is America and supposedly you can believe what you want. Unless it goes against the gay agenda then you get attacked for saying what you believe. I wonder why this is. Yes, God does love Michael and his boyfriend but He also wants them to find truth despite all the encouragement from you and people like you to do otherwise.

Lars Faltskog

On the contrary, oledad. I'm a very happy and "centered" individual who accepts people for what they like to do (play football) and I accept them for who they love (whether it's a man or woman, as long as it's a good person).

As far as I can see, Michael Sam is a good person, isn't violent or abusive, is intelligent, and has a goal. His family (and his boyfriend/lover/husband) are all lucky people, and we're proud that he is from Galveston County! I suppose my having those feelings means I need to "chill". Well, so be it.

Kevin Lang

Just out of curiosity, what exactly is Michael Sam being hired to do? If it's having sex with females, perhaps his sexual orientation might make an iota of difference. I don't think that the programming I watched over the past weekend was a draft for the next group of XXX stars.

From my own experience playing competitive sports in general, and, among them football, I never encountered a single aspect of any of the sports that pertained to choice of sexual partners or ones prowess in such acts. If any of the hiring or non-hiring decisions had anything to do with his sexual orientation, then people's vision of what the game of football is has been obscured.


What was he hired to do Mr. Lang? I think that question should have been directed at Mr. Sam before he applied for employment by the NFL! Six months ago most people did not know who he loved, or what he was about other than he was BLACK man who played NCAA football! He was the one who made all this an issue. Now everybody who does not agree with him or his agenda should just FORGET what they believe in, and go along with all this political correct BS intimidation which is going on today against those who are not hip to his lifestyle?
God does not forgive every sin,....He forgives the sin of those who have accepted the free gift of righteousness coming from, the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Christ Jesus! In that righteousness the elements of Union, Substitution, and Identification, Transforms and transmogrifies a repenting sinner from the dirt bag he is into a righteous child of GOD, when they should grow in that grace and become a disciple fit for duty in the Harvest of God.
That former sinner took everything Jesus had when He was nailed to the cross, and Jesus took from him all his dirt, unrighteousness and sin! It was in itself a SWAPOUT! Now from that time on, that sinner is saved and covered by the powered of the Holy Ghost, for all eternity, and is committed to being more and more like Jesus Christ everyday he rises out of bed! That believer is obligated to live and love like Christ would,...they are obligated to loves others,...NOT as they love themselves, but as Christ has love us!
John 13:34-35
34) “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35) By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 14:23
Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

John 15:10
If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commands and remain in his love.
Now let me be clear, I love people, but I will not love their ways and what they practice in their lives if all that is opposite of what GOD says is right. If persecution comes THEN LET IT COME,..FOR I AM WELL PREPARED TO HANDLE IT!
2 Timothy 3:12
"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."
We Christians are tired of all this Political BS and persecutions coming forth for us trying to do right, and we will are not going anywhere, because the greatest power the universe have ever known or will know,... HAS OUR BACKS. That same power raise Jesus from the dead and seated Him at the right hand of God. Also as Joshua & Caleb told the children of Israel about the giants in Canaan:
"Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not." WHAT THEY SAID IS STILL A GOOD WORD FOR CHRISTIANS TODAY,....IN THIS COUNTRY!!!!
Now having said all this, let me say this, this is a free country, where one can exercise a free will. You have a choice USE it! God gives every man a choice, so who am I or any other Christian to deny them that choice. That is the reason a HELL and a LAKE OF FIRE is sitting,...waiting on those who know the truth and thumb their nose at it in this life! Don't expect us to condone the world's ways and sins, because we won't!

MG Tex

amen MR jbg ... AMEN!

Kevin Lang

JBG, certainly, you aren't saying that Michael Sam has less of a right to make his sexual preference known as Michael Ervin did when he was playing (in more ways than one)?

Michael Sam knew that he, like just about every draft-eligible kid was going to have not only his playing career poked and prodded, but also just about every aspect of his personal life. I don't fault him one bit by being proactive and trying to get the word out that he has nothing to hide. I certainly don't fault him for that, especially in this day and age where the scouts are looking for not just good football players, but good people, too.

For me, that was enough that he got his cards out on the table. At that point, the only thing that mattered to me was whether he has a record of being a good football player, the potential to be a good pro, and a personal background that would assure me that his playing days would all be shown on TV, rather than viewed on some warden's closed-circuit system.

I think that the real concern is that too many other people have tried to make his sexual orientation more significant of a story than his skills. This forum is evidence of it. As a case in point, I look at your posting. You have devoted far more of your post to scriptures about his role as a sinner than you did about his ability as a football player.

From a character standpoint, I applaud him a lot more for just stating the facts than if he were to lie about his relationship, or to go around chasing women that he'd never be able to love and give himself to.

If Michael Sam is a gifted football player, I hope he's given a chance to prove it. Even if it means that I have to endure watching him sack Colin Kaepernick, but especially if it means that he beats up Russell Wilson :-)

George Croix

Michael, shut up, and play ball.

No charge....

MG Tex

Amen ...

Lars Faltskog

Response to Jbgood posted at 11:43 am on Tue, May 13, 2014:

JBG, I ask you: What do you think Mr. Sam's "agenda" is? To do what he likes to do (play football)? To love who he feels is the best individual that he can love, and get love in return? Do you have any relatives who are gay or lesbian, and have you condemned them for it? I bet if you have condemned them, their trust in you has eroded. You need to be supportive and accepting. Life is short. We have no right to condemn others for who they love. God hasn't told me that it's wrong. Has He told you? If so, why won't He tell me? I'm waiting.

Lars Faltskog

Response to kevjlang posted at 10:47 pm on Mon, May 12, 2014:

Regarding whether Michael Sam's sexual orientation had anything to do with him being hired by the Rams....

Maybe one of the recruiters had the "hots" for him. LOL So, for those of you who think he got signed for being "gay":
See how ridiculous all that sounds?

George Croix

IF there was nothing to do with it?
Then why make an issue of it in the first place?
A run of the mill athlete is now the talk of the sports world.
It's the same way a mediocre talent girl gets her profile raised by shaking her rear in front of some guy's crotch on TV, when it was totally unnecessary to the music act.
Anyway, I am in agreement fully with my fellow East Texan that pretending to forget one's beliefs because it's less trouble, or 'evolving' due to the PC crowds yammering (neither of us is running for public office, so vote getting is out...unlike a certain 'evolving beliefs' politician...) is not a thing that a full grown man able to think for himself and believe what he wants should be willing to do.
If a person is scared, he should say he's scared.
I don't hear any whimpering excuses or see any backing up from Jbg, and there are certainly none in my shoes. Nor, will there be.
I say again, Sam should shut up and play ball.
As for the in-your-face gay agenda characters...roll the dice...

Lars Faltskog

Response to gecroix posted at 12:20 pm on Tue, May 13, 2014:

If anyone wants to review the publicity, legal issues, and the "morality" of ball players, and then complain about this week's bit of publicity regarding Michael Sam... Then, watch this video. Pro ball players have been in the news often, and a lot of it 'aint so pretty -

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