NFL Draft Prospect Michael Sam Comes Out, and Twitter Reacts

Mizzou players laud family atmosphere on social media

Michael Sam came out to the world Sunday, and Twitter had plenty to say about it.

On Sunday, Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam became the NFL’s most intriguing prospect, telling ESPN and the New York Times that he is gay. The news sent a shock wave throughout the sports world, as Sam is expected to be the first openly gay athlete to play in a major sport.

Last year, ex-NBA veteran Jason Collins announced he was gay. A free agent at the time, Collins was not signed by an NBA team, leaving many to wonder if Collins, now 35, had been discriminated against.

But Sam, 24, represents a dramatic shift in the country’s attitude about gays in sports: a young player who could have a potential impact in America’s most popular sport.

Twitter was abuzz with the news yesterday, and much of the reaction was overwhelmingly positive.

Michael Sam himself thanked supporters for their encouragement:

A couple of Missouri Tigers tweeted they knew about Sam’s sexuality:

Embattled Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito chimed in:

As did Jonathan Martin:

Author Jeff Pearlman called Sam a “hero.”

CBS’ Pete Prisco tweeted something of an informal poll:

Even Prime Time says it’s time the NFL is ready for a gay athlete:

Jason Collins knows a little something about this announcement:

And what’s Twitter reaction piece without Ochocinco?

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