Jan 3, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Michael Sam (52) runs on the field before the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at the 2014 Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium. Missouri beat Oklahoma State 41-31. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tampa, Florida -- NFL Draft hopeful Michael Sam made a major announcement to the world on Sunday -- that he's an openly gay athlete. Sam is the first draft prospect to "come out" as a gay player in NFL history.
The announcement has sent the sports world into overdrive with commentary, opinion and projections over and, if, Sam gets drafted in this upcoming May.
Sam is a pass rushing specialist from Missouri and the reigning co-Defensive Player of the Year in the SEC. Here in Tampa Bay, the reaction has been mixed over this announcement. Fans on our 10 News Facebook page have weighed in. Current NFL players have tweeted support for a guy that may soon join them in the league.
Former players have also shown support. Former Buccaneers tight end Anthony Becht told 10 Sports that what Sam has done should be considered courageous.
"It goes against what society normally chooses to do," Becht said via text message. "There will absolutely be hesitation by some players in the locker room, but I believe that when it comes to the common goal of going to work and playing football games, none of the guys will flinch."
"He earned the respect of his teammates and coaches at Missouri. By coming out tells me that he understands the challenges that he will face and that he's ready to take them on."
Former Bucs defensive lineman and two-time Super Bowl champion Booger McFarland also gave his opinion on Sam's situation. He sat down with 10 Sports Bobby Lewis to discuss what he calls a "landmark day" for Sam and the NFL.
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