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Michael Sam Addresses Critics: ‘It’s Okay to Be Who You Are’

Michael Sam‘s drafting by the St. Louis Rams was notable for two reasons: the fact that Sam is the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team, and the celebratory kiss between him and his boyfriend to commemorate the big moment. Yesterday Sam addressed the issues surrounding his drafting by saying “It’s okay to be who you are, whether you’re gay, straight, black or white. It’s okay to be comfortable in your own skin.”

Sam spoke at a Rams press conference yesterday, and he was asked about some of the flak he’s already gotten over his drafting. For one thing, former NFL player Derrick Ward went on a Twitter tirade against Sam’s kiss (though he insisted he didn’t have a problem with Sam’s homosexuality). And Miami Dolphins defensive back Don Jones tweeted “OMG” and “horrible” after the kiss aired, and he was subsequently fined and suspended by the NFL.

Sam said he’s “determined to be great” and remains confident in his abilities to be a team players. And as for the critics, he said, “So when I do make it, and when I put my pads on and if somebody wants to say something, then you will see number 96 running down that field and making good, big plays for this team.”

Watch the video below, via NBC:

[image via screengrab]

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Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac

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