Tri-State Alliance members react to Michael Sam's announcement - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Tri-State Alliance members react to Michael Sam's announcement

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All-American defensive lineman Michael Sam has announced that he's openly gay. Local members of the Tri-State Alliance call the announcement nothing short of inspirational.

Sam is expected to be drafted in the late rounds in May, and if he is, he'll be the first openly gay player drafted by the NFL. 

Before opening up to the entire country, Sam says he told his teammates at the University of Missouri back in August. He said the team was nothing but supportive of his decision and gave him the confidence to take the next step. The NFL applauded Sam for being honest.

Local LGBT community members say when prominent athletes and celebrities open up about their sexual orientation, it inspires other young members to come forward and share their story. Some say it starts the conversation and gives others the courage to talk about their sexual orientation. 

"A lot of people think homosexual men are flamboyant and they're not. Not all of them are. They can be masculine men. They're able to stand up for themselves and other people if needed. So being a football player is great because you don't see a lot of football players that do that," said Randi Hall.

Sam says he chose to come out publicly because he knew rumors were circulating. He says he's proud of his decision to be open with the world.

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