Michael Sam Gives Emotional Speech After Receiving Arthur Ashe Award at ESPYS

Michael Sam Gives Emotional Speech After Receiving Arthur Ashe Award at ESPYS

sameFormer Missouri All-American defensive end and the NFL’s first openly gay player, Michael Sam, accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY awards in Los Angeles on Wednesday night.

Sam’s emotional acceptance speech stole the show as he spoke of Ashe’s message, – “start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.”

The Ashe Award is given in honor of the former world No. 1 tennis player who died in 1993 from complications of the AIDS virus.

“Those have been very meaningful words to me,” Sam told the audience. “And the way I see my responsibility at this moment is to stand up for everybody out there who wants nothing more than to be themselves openly.”

Sam also shared the story of how he helped a friend’s sister, who was contemplating suicide over sharing her homosexuality with her family.

“When we spoke, she told me that she would never consider hurting herself again, and that somehow my example had helped her,” he said through tears. “It’s amazing to think (that) by just doing what we can, we can all touch, change and even save lives.”

This is a repost from The Gaily Grind.