JOHNNY FLORES/Coachella Uninc
It happened. Michael Sam is the first openly gay player to be drafted to the National Football League.
The University of Missouri defensive end and Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year was drafted by the St. Louis Rams earlier this month. He was picked far lower than projected – number 249 out of 256 — but it happened.
While it’s nice that Sam’s journey has come full circle and his dreams are being realized, the courage and bravery exhibited throughout the journey is more important to me. Sam faced heavy media attention upon coming out, both positive and negative. However, he persisted and continued to make his name known. He is a true testament of courage.
As I wrote in a previous article, Sam would rather not have been drafted than to have lived a lie of a life.
Now that one journey has ended, another has begun. While part of the roster, Sam must now compete for a starting position and train in several other areas if he hopes to play his first year of professional football. However, as already demonstrated, I believe Sam will continue to shine as he did during his college football career and though his coming out process.
People keep talking about the image of Sam kissing his boyfriend Vito Cammisano. Why shouldn’t a person kiss his or her significant other to celebrate such a milestone? It simply shows that love comes in all shapes, sizes and forms.
If there is one thing that I’ve learned from Sam, it is hope — hope that everything will work out in the end, that your dreams will come true, that tomorrow will be a better day.