WASHINGTON ― The White House is applauding a college football player’s decision to announce he is gay, with President Barack Obama’s spokesman, first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden all portraying him as courageous and inspirational.
Biden and the first lady took to Twitter on Monday to comment on University of Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, who publicly came out on Sunday. Mrs. Obama says she “couldn’t be prouder” of Sam.
The tweet was signed “-mo,” which is how the White House marks messages personally sent by the first lady.
“Your courage is an inspiration to all of us,” Biden said. The message was signed “-VP,” which designates that the vice president sent it personally.
Sam could become the first openly homosexual player in the NFL. He’s scheduled to participate in the league’s weeklong scouting camp, where potential draftees are evaluated, this month in Indianapolis. Sam, a first-team All-American and the Southeastern Conference’s defensive player of the year, has been projected to be a mid-round draft pick in May.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said the president “shares the sentiments expressed by the first lady and the vice president and so many others in marveling at his courage and congratulating him on the decisions he’s made, on the support he’s had from his team and wishing him well in the future, including in professional football.”
Carney said Sam’s announcement should not affect his standing in the NFL draft and his abilities should be measured by his performance.
“And in this case, his performance has been exceptional,” Carney said.