Michael Sam made history on Saturday by becoming the first openly gay football player to be drafted by an NFL team. He was taken by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round.
The selection sparked reaction a lot of reaction on social media. Even after getting drafted on the weekend, Sam remained a trending topic on Monday morning. WWE wrestler Darren Young, who came out of the closet less than a year ago, congratulated Sam for beging drafted. Other celebrities offered their support, as well.
â€” nodaysoff DYoung (@DarrenYoungWWE) May 11, 2014
â€” Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) May 11, 2014
I take my hat off to Rams Owner Stan Kroenke & Coach Jeff Fisher for drafting an outstanding football player and man.
â€” Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 11, 2014
While Sam did receive his far share of well wishes, he still had to face a lot of homophobia. Not only did some angry fans tweet hateful comments at the new NFL player, but other athletes expressed their displeasure at the selection of Sam.
More specifically, some viewers of the draft were upset that ESPN showed Sam kissing his boyfriend, after hearing the news that he was a member of the Rams. Former NFL running back Derrick Ward lets the world know that he was upset, as well as Marshall Henderson, who gained notoriety as a college basketball player for Ole Miss.
Man U got little kids lookin at the draft. I can't believe ESPN even allowed that to happen.
â€” Derrick Ward (@derrickward32) May 10, 2014
Boycotting sportscenter til this michael sam nasty ass shit is off .... My brothers are 7 and 11 and saw that!!! #SICKENING
â€” marshall henderson (@NativeFlash22) May 12, 2014
After receiving criticism for his tweets, Henderson claimed he wasn’t serious, and was only trying to elicit a response from his followers. He went on to explain that it was for a psychology study being done by one of his friends, though many have had a difficult time believing his story.
One current NFL player is already facing repercussions because of a tweet he sent out, regarding Sam. Miami Dolphins cornerback Don Jones has been fined and suspended from offseason workouts. He called the kiss between Sam and his boyfriend “horrible.”