Michael Sam Recives Arthur Ashe Courage Award



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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