July 17, 2014
Los Angeles, Calif. - Mizzou Football's Michael Sam, who this past season became just the second unanimous All-American in program history, was honored last night with the prestigious Arthur Ashe Courage Award, given annually to a recipient(s) who best exhibits courage in the face of adversity. Sam was recognized with the award as part of the ESPYs award show.
Sam drew worldwide recognition this past February, when he came out publicly, and detailed the decision to tell his Mizzou teammates just prior to the 2013 season. What followed was an amazing season individually for Sam - who won the 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year award - and collectively, as the Tigers finished 12-2 overall, won the SEC Eastern Division, and finished ranked 5th in the nation. In May, Sam became the first openly gay football player to be selected in the NFL draft, when the St. Louis Rams took him in the 7th round.
"This year I had a lot of experience being part of something bigger than myself," said Sam, fighting back tears during his emotional speech. "At times, I felt like I'd been living in a massive storm, but the lessons learned -- love, respect and being true to yourself -- will never leave me."
Congratulations to Michael for his wonderful recognition!
Arthur Ashe Courage Award Recipient History
- 1993 Jim Valvano
- 1994 Steve Palermo
- 1995 Howard Cosell
- 1996 Loretta Claiborne
- 1997 Muhammad Ali
- 1998 Dean Smith
- 1999 Billie Jean King
- 2000 Dave Sanders
- 2001 Cathy Freeman
- 2002 Todd Beamer, Mark Bingham, Tom Burnett, Jeremy Glick
- 2003 Pat Tillman, Kevin Tillman
- 2004 George Weah
- 2005 Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, Jim MacLaren
- 2006 Roia Ahmad, Shamila Kohestani
- 2007 Trevor Ringland, David Cullen
- 2008 Tommie Smith, John Carlos
- 2009 Nelson Mandela
- 2010 Family of Ed Thomas
- 2011 Dewey Bozella
- 2012 Pat Summitt
- 2013 Robin Roberts
- 2014 Michael Sam
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