Michael Sam's University of Missouri teammates and other sports stars rallied around the All-American defensive lineman after he revealed to the world that he's gay.
The 6-foot-2, 260-pound senior is poised to become the first openly gay player in NFL history following May's draft. Sam said he told his fellow players last year and they were quick to offer support on social media on Sunday.
Some praised his courage.
Another said Sam's sexual orientation was not a big deal in the locker room.
Other Mizzou students were also quick to offer support.
Current NFLers -- including University of Missouri alumnus Chase Daniel, who now plays for the Chiefs -- also chipped in.
And even a recent Super Bowl winner backed Sam's decision.
Other athletes were quick to send their best wishes, including NBC center Jason Collins who came out last year who said he had met with Sam before his anouncement and praised his "courage and leadership."
John Amaechi, who came out after retiring from the NBA also offered his support.
German soccer star Thomas Hitzlsperger, who also recently came out, did the same.
Other were more skeptical about how the news would go down, with former Cowboys and Chargers wide receiver Patrick Crayton saing that "a lot of players and execs will get asked about playing with a gay guy and they are going to have to lie about how they really feel."
Retired wide receiver Chad Johnson also wondered about how the news would go down.
Johnson also wondered whether it would affect Sam's status at the draft.
First published February 10 2014, 2:11 AM