Former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam took a bold step Sunday night when he publicly announced that he is gay.
When reached for comment today, Lions president Tom Lewand released the following statement:
"As an organization and football team, the Detroit Lions place the highest priority on inclusiveness and diversity," Lewand said. "We applaud Michael Sam for his courage and proactive approach, and we will evaluate him, like every player, based solely on his ability to help the Lions win football games."
Others have praised Sam's decision to announce that he is gay.
"I applaud his leadership and courage for coming out and doing so and being the first," Former Lions safety Ron Rice said. "He's proven that he can play. The thing is, will it transfer into the league."
Sommer Foster, who works for Equality Michigan, hopes Sam can be someone to look up to.
"We hope that he can can be a hero, somebody to look up to, to young kids who are playing high school ball who are thinking of coming out, or who are thinking of being open to their teammates."