Jason Collins and Michael Sam have shared a mutual respect and support for one another, especially now as both have broken barriers in their respective sport, with Collins being the first openly gay athlete in the NBA and Sam, as of Saturday night, being the first openly gay college football player to be selected in the NFL Draft.
Sam was selected 249th overall by the St. Louis Rams, in the 7th round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Collins, a major supporter of Sam's, spoke to the media prior to the Nets second round game against the Miami Heat. Collins told ESPN, "This is a great day for the NFL and Michael Sam and his family."
"It takes more and more people just to come forward and show that we are normal people," Collins said. "We are just trying to make plays to help our respective teams win and like I said before, this is a great day for the NFL and for Michael Sam and his family."
After the game, Collins commented on the most famous sports kiss in a long time -- Sam's embrace of his boyfriend, also a Mizzou athlete..
"We’re gay. We have boyfriends," said the Nets center. "We have our lives off the court. It’s cool to see him share that moment with someone."
As Moke Hamilton of SNY writes, this is a "great day for professional sports and for equality, in general." Indeed it is. And now that Sam has been drafted into the NFL, much like was the case for Collins when he signed with the Nets, this story becomes about his place on the football field, as Sam now turns his attention to making his impact felt on the football field.
- Jason Collins on Michael Sam being drafting into NFL - Moke Hamilton - SNY Nets
- Michael Sam drafted by the St. Louis Rams - Cyd Ziegler - Outsports
- Nets notes: Jason Collins sends congratulatory text to Michael Sam - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Watch Jason Collins On Michael Sam (Video) - ESPN
- Jason Collins on Michael Sam: 'A great day' - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Nets' Jason Collins happy for Michael Sam - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Nets’ Jason Collins says it's a ‘great day’ for openly gay Michael Sam - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Nets center Jason Collins comments on drafting of Michael Sam - Kurt Helin - NBC Sports
- Miami Heat: Nets' Jason Collins congratulates Michael Sam - Shandel Richardson - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
- Michael Sam's kiss was an important moment for our changing sports culture - Steve Politi - Star-Ledger