The support for Michael Sam continues to grow, with 13-year NFL veteran Ephraim Salaam becoming Athlete Ally’s newest Ambassador for inclusion. Athlete Ally works with eight NFL ambassadors.
“Sport is one of the best ways in our society for people of different cultures, ethnicities, beliefs and religions to put aside their differences and work towards a common goal. It is through sports that our society has made leaps and bounds towards becoming more accepting of all people and their ideals. As the father of a two year old boy, with a girl on the way, I would love to raise my children in a society that is opened mind and compassionate of others,” said Salaam.
Salaam expressed his public support for LGBT athletes and Sam specifically on Fox Sports 1, just a day following the groundbreaking announcement. Salaam emphasizes that character, ability to play the game and respect of teammates are the most critical factors in assessing a player’s acceptance in professional sports.
Salaam, was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in 1998, earning a trip to the Super Bowl with the NFC Champs during his rookie campaign. The Chicago native played for the Falcons, Denver Broncos, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans and Detroit Lions. In 2013, Salaam participated in the 23rdseason of the Amazing Race with former teammate Chester Pitts, finishing 9th of 11 teams.
After Sam’s historical announcement, Salaam appeared on a Fox Sports Live panel with Athlete Ally Ambassador Andy Roddick, who continues to encourage the athletic community to embrace diversity in sport during the Winter Olympics in Russia. He has been a leader in the Principle 6 campaign, urging the IOC to uphold the Olympic Charter. “Michael Sam’s announcement is pivotal for this (LGBT) movement because he has entire career ahead of him. Sport is so great because if you can play, you will have the respect of your teammates,” said Roddick.
Sam is projected by experts as a high round NFL draft pick and Athlete Ally has launched a social awareness campaign to encourage everyone to embrace the league’s first openly gay athlete. Click hereto show the football world that we are ready for Michael Sam.
More information on the NFL’s Workplace Policy Code can be found here.