In what was described as a "landmark moment in American sports history" in an interview with ESPN, Missouri defensive end and SEC defensive player of the year Michael Sam came out to the world as gay Sunday.
"I am Michael Sam, I'm a college graduate, I'm African-American, and Im gay," Sam said to the network at the tail end of his interview.
Sam is listed as a top-10 defensive end prospect on some NFL draft boards, and should he be drafted, would become the first openly gay NFL-draftee, and subsequently the first openly gay player in NFL history.
NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper. Jr said shortly after the announcement that Sam is like a "third-to-fifth" round pick.
The first-team All-American said he told his teammates in August that he was gay, and said the tone of the room was "OK, finally Michael told us he is gay", adding that the feeling of acceptance he received was "amazing".
When asked why he was the right person to be in the spotlight for this issue Sam simply responded "because I'm not afraid of who I am."
Reaction has been extremely positive in the immediate aftermath of the interview, including former Viking Robert Smith tweeting his support.
Sam tweeted his thanks for the support shortly after the interview aired.