- The Washington Times - Monday, February 10, 2014

The White House on Monday praised Michael Sam, the NFL prospect and All-American defensive lineman at the University of Missouri who announced Sunday evening that he’s gay.

First lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden both congratulated Mr. Sam on Twitter, and White House press secretary Jay Carney said the president also is proud of the young defensive lineman.

“He shares the sentiments expressed by the first lady and vice president and so many others in marveling at his courage and congratulating him on the decisions he’s made, the support he’s had from his team, and wishing him well in the future, including in pro football,” Mr. Carney told reporters on Monday.

On her official Twitter page, Mrs. Obama on Monday called Mr. Sam “an inspiration.” Mr. Biden also paid tribute to Mr. Sam’s “courage” and thanked the coaches and fellow football players at Missouri for standing by him.

Moving forward, the administration say it believes Mr. Sam’s sexual orientation should not be a factor in where he’s taken in the upcoming NFL draft.

“In general it is [the president’s] view that it should not have an effect. Any athlete’s abilities should be measured in the traditional way, how he or she performs in the sport,” Mr. Carney said.