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President Obama congratulates first openly gay NFL draftee

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Photo - FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2014, file photo, Missouri's All-American defensive end Michael Sam claps during the Cotton Bowl trophy presentation at halftime of an NCAA college basketball game between Missouri and Tennessee in Columbia, Mo. The NFL draft will conclude with Rounds 4 through 7 on Saturday, and when and if Sam is selected is sure to be the most significant development. The Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year last season for Missouri came out as gay in media interviews this year.   (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2014, file photo, Missouri's All-American defensive end Michael Sam claps during the Cotton Bowl trophy presentation at halftime of an NCAA college basketball game between Missouri and Tennessee in Columbia, Mo. The NFL draft will conclude with Rounds 4 through 7 on Saturday, and when and if Sam is selected is sure to be the most significant development. The Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year last season for Missouri came out as gay in media interviews this year. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson, File)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama sends his congratulations to Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team.

Obama calls the selection of Sam "an important step forward."

Obama says that from the playing field to the corporate boardroom, gay and lesbian Americans, quote, "prove every day that you should be judged by what you do and not who you are."

Sam was the Associated Press defensive player of the year in the Southeastern Conference. He was picked late Saturday in the third and final day of the NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams. Sam played college football at the University of Missouri and came out as openly gay in media interviews earlier this year.

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