Athletes, NFL players show support after Missouri DL comes out

In interviews with The New York Times and ESPN, Missouri defensive lineman and NFL hopeful Michael Sam came out as "an openly, proud gay man" on Sunday.

If he is drafted in May, Sam would become the first publicly gay player in NFL history.

The 6-foot-2, 260-pound senior says his teammates and coaches have known since August.

After the news broke, athletes from various sports including current and former NFL players showed their support through social media.

Here is a sampling:

The NFL also provided a statement on the matter:

"We admire Michael Sam’s honesty and courage. Michael is a football player. Any player with ability and determination can succeed in the NFL. We look forward to welcoming and supporting Michael Sam in 2014.”