When ESPN captured the moment college football player Michael Sam heard he had been drafted by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday, positioning him to become the first openly gay athlete in the NFL, an emotional Sam shared a congratulatory kiss with his 23-year-old boyfriend, Vito Cammisano.
While the on-camera peck quickly drew criticism from several big names in the NFL, others were happy to see the University of Missouri defensive end publicly embrace his partner. The tender moment also left many people wanting to know more about the man by Sam’s side.
Cammisano, whom Sam has been dating for several months, is a fellow University of Missouri alum and competitive swimmer who was a standout on the school’s swim team from 2009 to 2012. According to a February 2014 article in News Hall Online, the 23-year-old athlete came out to his team in 2011 and said his teammates welcomed the news.
According to Commisano’s Facebook page, he attended high school in Kansas City, Missouri, and later worked in the University of Missouri’s office of disability services as an assistant. He is currently an intern at Cumulus Broadcasting, which owns several AM and FM radio stations in the U.S.
Cammisano graduated from the university last year with a degree in communications.
Continue Reading Below
Sam came out to the public three months ago. While the 24-year-old football player hadn’t been seen with Cammisano in such a public way before, the couple wasn’t shy about their relationship on social media.
Several photos of the pair have been posted to Commisano’s Instagram account, including Saturday’s good news.
Although NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell praised Sam’s coming out, there was still some doubt over whether the NFL would draft an openly gay player. Sam’s standing in draft projections slipped following his coming out, and wasn’t even expected to go in the first round. Day two of the draft came and went. Sam was drafted on the final day during the seventh round.
“From last season alone, I should’ve been in the first three rounds,” Sam said after being drafted, according to the New York Daily News. “They saw Michael Sam, day after day they scratched it off the board. That was their loss. But St. Louis kept me on the board.”
Sam and Commisano celebrated the news at Tao in Las Vegas on Saturday night. A group that included Sam's agents and friends -- and now-famous boyfriend -- shared a VIP table at the club and stayed out until 3 a.m., Las Vegas Sun reports.
Watch the moment Sam received the news that he had been drafted, and shared a kiss with his boyfriend, here: