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Missouri Defensive End Michael Sam Announces That He Is Gay, Receives Praise On Twitter

Missouri Tiger defensive end Michael Sam was one of the best players in college football this season, recording 11.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss and winning SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Today, just a few months ahead of the NFL Draft, he announced that he is gay, meaning he will likely become the first openly gay NFL player. Sam made the announcement to his teammates and coaches before the season began, and considered making the announcement before the season, but ultimately decided to wait. Sam, who is projected as a mid-round draft pick, received heaps of praise from many in the Twitter community after his brave announcement.

">February 10, 2014

">@espn,

"I knew that I was Michael Sam, a Mizzou football player who happens to be gay." http://t.co/rpD7fSWoaM

— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 10, 2014

">@nytimes and @nfl. I am proud to tell my story to the world!

— Michael Sam (@MikeSamFootball) February 10, 2014

">@HowardBragman

Want to give an additional thanks to my supportive family and team @HowardBragman@EmpireAthletes@camRONweiss@JoeBarkett

— Michael Sam (@MichaelSam52) February 10, 2014

">@EmpireAthletes

Want to give an additional thanks to my supportive family and team @HowardBragman@EmpireAthletes@camRONweiss@JoeBarkett

— Michael Sam (@MichaelSam52) February 10, 2014

">@camRONweiss

Want to give an additional thanks to my supportive family and team @HowardBragman@EmpireAthletes@camRONweiss@JoeBarkett

— Michael Sam (@MichaelSam52) February 10, 2014

">@JoeBarkett

— Michael Sam (@MikeSamFootball) February 10, 2014

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">February 10, 2014

">@mikesamfootball - Bottom line - Dude is a PLAYER...relentless&explosive.

— Herb Hand (@CoachHand)

Did an interview over the weekend about the ability/talent of @mikesamfootball - Bottom line - Dude is a PLAYER...relentless&explosive.

— Herb Hand (@CoachHand) February 10, 2014

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">@MikeSamFootball . I don't know you . But I am very proud of you!!

— Hugh Douglas (@Bighugh53)

S/O to @MikeSamFootball . I don't know you . But I am very proud of you!!

— Hugh Douglas (@Bighugh53) February 10, 2014

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">@MikeSamFootball! #OneMizzouhttp://t.co/ueLCOJ4RFFpic.twitter.com/DvJ2vTIbgU

— Mizzou (@Mizzou)

We support Tigers of all stripes at Mizzou. Proud of you @MikeSamFootball! #OneMizzouhttp://t.co/ueLCOJ4RFFpic.twitter.com/DvJ2vTIbgU

— Mizzou (@Mizzou) February 10, 2014

">February 10, 2014

Sports Illustrated has released a story with some mixed reactions from anonymous NFL sources about how Sam will be received come draft time. Hopefully he will only be judged by his ability on the field, and not based on worry of what reaction may be off of it.