ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --Sunday night, Missouri defensive end Michael Sam announced that he is gay.
With the NFL Scouting Combine just around the corner, the draft prospect is set to become the first openly gay player in the NFL.
"I just want to make sure I could tell my story the way I want to tell it," Sam told The New York Times. "I just want to own my truth."
Reaction from throughout the league has poured in since Sam's announcement, including from the Broncos' front office.
"I applaud Michael Sam and wish him the very best as he continues the pursuit of his NFL dream," Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway said Monday. "As we look toward the combine and draft, we will evaluate Michael just like any other draft prospect — on the basis of his ability, character and NFL potential. His announcement will have no effect on how we see him as a football player."
Sam, a unanimous All-America selection as a senior for the Tigers, was the Southeastern Conference's co-Defensive Player of the Year. He notched an SEC-best 11.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss last season.
"Having spent 16 years in an NFL locker room, the bottom line is that it's about treating others with respect and earning that respect," Elway said. "By all indications, it appears Michael has done just that throughout his football career."