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Obama Congratulates First Openly Gay Player Drafted by NFL

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Barack Obama
Photo Credit: Getty Images

President Barack Obama congratulated Michael Sam on Saturday for making history as the first openly gay football player drafted into the National Football League, the White House said.

"From the playing field to the corporate boardroom, LGBT Americans prove everyday that you should be judged by what you do and not who you are," Obama said. He also extended his congratulations to the NFL and the St. Louis Rams, the team that picked Sam.

The football player publicly came out in February, saying to ESPN in an interview, "I came to tell the world I'm an openly proud gay man."

Upon opening up about his sexual preference, the media questioned whether teams would be hesitant about drafting Sam because of the attention his personal life would potentially draw.

"I understand how big this is," Sam said. "No one has done this before. And it's kind of a nervous process, but I know what I want to be ... I want to be a football player in the NFL."

He further spoke about his sexual orientation in an interview with The New York Times saying, "I just want to make sure I could tell my story the way I want to tell it. I just want to own my truth."

PHOTO GALLERY: Michelle Obama and Daughters' China Visit!

  • First Lady Michelle Obama dances with traditional Chinese performers on the City Wall in Xian in China's central Shaanxi province.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama, her daughters Sasha, Malia and Michelle Obama's mother Marian Robinson exit their plane upon arrival at Beijing's Capital International Airport.
  • Michelle Obama, Malia and Sasha are greeted by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Peng Liyuan in Beijing, China
Filed Under: Issues
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