Michael Sam accomplished a lot on the football field during his final season with the Missouri Tigers. Sam was named co-Defensive Player of the Year, a consensus All-American and first-team All-SEC, but it is what Sam has done off the field that really stole the headlines.
Earlier this year, Sam broke down barriers in the sports world by coming out as an openly gay athlete.
He will now attempt to become the first openly gay football player in the National Football League. Being proud of who you are and not being afraid to let the world know about it takes a lot of courage, and because of that Sam will be honored.
On Wednesday morning, just over 24 hours before the 2014 NFL Draft, ESPN announced that Sam will be the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2014 ESPYs.
“I’m very honored to be presented with the Arthur Ashe award,” Sam said, via USA Today Sports. “It is about courage.
“You know I don’t think there is anything courageous I did. I look forward to when we can live life in a world when gays don’t have to come out in public.”
When you look over the past year in sports, there is no one more deserving of the award than Sam and hopefully some day the final comment he made will be something that the world embraces.