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Michael Sam gets first NFL action in first quarter preseason game

Michael Sam has broken a barrier for gay athletes by playing defensive end for the St. Louis Rams in a preseason game against the New Orleans Saints.

Michael Sam lined up at left defensive end for his first play in the NFL preseason, breaking another historic barrier. The NFL has officially had an openly gay player participate in a game.

The play came with about five minutes left in the first quarter. It was a run off the left guard (away from Sam) by Khiry Robinson. The run gained five yards.

The crowd offered its loudest non-scoring applause of the night when they realized Sam was in on his second play, a two-yard pass by the Saints.

Sam played left defensive end for the entire next series and got pressure on the quarterback twice, forcing him out of the pocket both times.

While the crowd is sparse and there are other storylines to this game that fans may pay more close attention to, Sam's participation in this first-quarter drive was huge. No gay kid in America will ever live with the idea that he can't be true and open about himself and not have a shot at the NFL.