Michael Sam sees overwhelming support at MU

Former MU football player and star defensive end Michael Sam first publicized his sexual orientation on Sunday on ESPN.

On Monday, University of Missouri officials reacted to player Michael Sam's big announcement over the past weekend.

The star defensive end first publicized his sexual orientation on Sunday on ESPN. Sam would be the first openly gay player to enter the NFL draft. MU Tigers coach Gary Pinkel said over the weekend Sam told him and the team back in August but chose not to make an issue of it prior to the 2013 season.

At a Monday afternoon news conference, KRCG's Garrett Bergquist reports that coach Pinkel said diversity is par for the course for his football teams.

Click here to read the full story from Bergquist on KRCG's website.

"There's a lot of differences with those 127 players. There's race, there's religion, there's all kinds of different things. But at the end of the day, you know, you're respectful to people," he told Bergquist.

MU Athletics Director Mike Alden praised how Sam conducted himself. "He's a fine young man, and the way he represents Mizzou is outstanding," he said.

Cathy Scroggs, MU's Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, said she thought Sam's decision was a good sign of inclusiveness on MU's campus.

"We might be doing something pretty well if a guy like Michael Sam can tell his team and perform, win the Cotton Bowl and be supported by the student body," she said.

Alden said he hoped Sam's actions would help others following in his footsteps.

"Hopefully, situations and events like this that provide national awareness can provide even more confidence to others that want to follow with those same types of announcements," Alden said.