Openly gay NFL prospect Michael Sam will receive the prestigious Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs this July, ESPN and the Walt Disney Company announced today. Sam came out publicly in February despite just beginning his pro football career and with no guarantee of making into the NFL. Various "experts" have said he has risked his draft stock in order to live his life truthfully.
'The Eagle has Landed'
The exclusive behind-the-scenes story of how gay NFL prospect Michael Sam came out.
In a rare television appearance, Sam visited Good Morning America today and talked about winning the award.
"I'm very honored to be presented with the Arthur Ashe award. 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.''
Past Arthur Ashe Award winners include Muhammad Ali, Dean Smith, Howard Cosell, Pat Summit, Tommie Smith and John Carlos. Various LGBT people have previously won the award, including Billie Jean King and Sept. 11, 2001 hero Mark Bingham. Robin Roberts, then closeted at the time, won the award last year.