Openly gay college football star Michael Sam has been drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh and final round of the draft, with just seven picks to go before the end of the draft.
Sam, the star college football player who came out as gay in February, broke down in tears as he received the call from the Rams that he was being drafted, putting him in position to be the first openly gay active player in NFL history should he make the team. He is officially the first openly gay athlete to be selected in the NFL Draft.
“The moment my name was called was the single greatest moment of my life,” Sam said in a statement to the press.
This is not the first time the St. Louis Rams have made a significant social impact on sports history. The team signed Kenny Washington, the first African-American football player in the modern era of the NFL, a year before Jackie Robinson became the first African-American player in the modern era of Major League Baseball.
“This is the second historic moment in the history of this franchise,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher told ESPN. “From that standpoint, from a historic standpoint, I’m honored to be a part of that.”
The White House released a statement expressing congratulations from President Obama.
“The President congratulates Michael Sam, the Rams and the NFL for taking an important step forward today in our Nation’s journey,” the statement, which a White House official emailed to ABC News, read. “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.”