NEW YORK (AP) - Michael Sam was picked by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the NFL draft Saturday, becoming the first openly gay player drafted by a pro football team.
Sam played at Missouri, and came out as gay in media interviews earlier this year. His team and coaches knew his secret and kept it for his final college season. He went on to have the best year of his career: He was the Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year.
He was taken with the 249th overall pick out of 256. He’ll start his professional career not far from the place where he played his college ball.
President Barack Obama sent his congratulations to Sam, calling his being drafted “an important step forward.”
MIAMI (AP) - Miami Dolphins safety Don Jones was fined an undisclosed amount Sunday and will undergo educational training after sending a negative tweet about Sam.
Shortly after St. Louis took Sam in the seventh round Saturday, Jones tweeted “OMG” and “Horrible.” The tweets were taken down a short time later. Jones apologized for his comments Sunday and described them as inappropriate. The Dolphins said Jones has been excused from all team activities until he completes training related to his comments.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling apologized Sunday for racist comments captured on tape.
“I’m not a racist,” Sterling told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in excerpts posted from an interview taped Sunday and set to air Monday. “I made a terrible mistake. I’m here to apologize.”
In his first public comments since being banned for life from the NBA, Sterling said years of good behavior as an owner should count toward his future.
NEW YORK (AP) - The NBA said if Sterling’s ownership of the Clippers is terminated, so is Shelly Sterling’s.
Hours after Shelly Sterling told ABC News’ Barbara Walters that she would fight to keep her ownership of the franchise even if her estranged husband can’t, the league said that wouldn’t be possible.
“Under the NBA constitution, if a controlling owner’s interest is terminated by a three-quarter vote, all other team owners’ interests are automatically terminated as well,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement. “It doesn’t matter whether the owners are related as is the case here. These are the rules to which all NBA owners agreed to as a condition of owning their team.”