(CNN) — President Barack Obama congratulated Michael Sam on Saturday for being the first openly gay football player taken in the National Football League draft, the White House said in a statement.
“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 congratulated the NFL and the St. Louis Rams, the team that drafted Sam.
Sam, an All-American defensive end who played for the University of Missouri, made history when he was picked by the Rams in the seventh and final round. He was the 249th of 256 players selected.
The 24-year-old got the news by telephone from Rams’ coach Jeff Fisher, who told Sam: “You are a Ram. The wait is finally over.”
Sam, who was filmed by ESPN as he got the call, broke down in tears in the arms of his boyfriend. “Thank you,” he could be heard saying to Fisher.
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