Michael Sam Moved To Tears During Speech: “Great Things Can Happen”

91f24e61e27d1b1b5a0f6a706700de53There wasn’t a dry eye in the house at the ESPYs Wednesday night once trailblazing out athlete Michael Sam took the podium to accept the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

Speaking to an audience that included boyfriend Vito Cammisano, Sam delivered an emotional speech about achieving the impossible and embracing diversity.

“To anyone out there, especially young people feeling like they don’t fit in and will never be accepted,” he said, “know this: great things can happen when you have the courage to be yourself.”

Sam is the 21st recipient of the prestigious award and joins a great legacy of previous winners that includes Muhammad Ali, Pat Tillman, Nelson Mandela and Robin Roberts.

Check out his emotional speech in full below:

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  • Teeth

    Man.. I REALLY hope he can be awesome player. That would cement his role in history so well.

  • Black Pegasus

    The bigots on twitter were pissed lol.
    It pleases me to know they can’t live with progress. Life must hurt each day for such people.

  • erikwm

    Right, Teeth?

    Because after all the fanfare, if he doesn’t succeed in the NFL, the haters are going to say it’s because he’s gay.

  • Ogre Magi

    So who is the top and who is the bottom?

  • stanhope

    If this doesn’t redirect ALL of the attention off of Tom Daly then you are hopeless or getting paid. These two guys are great and deserve far more coverage in this column than you give them.

  • stanhope

    @Ogre Magi: @Ogre Magi: gurl pleeze go to the baths and getcha some

  • Tackle

    @stanhope: What’s great about Vito??

  • ucak bileti

    Hello I am uçak bileti from Turkey. I liked tihs film. His role in history so well.

  • lykeitiz

    @stanhope: Oh puh-lease! Although the Tom Daly coverage gets nauseating, he is a medal winning Olympian after all! Michael Sam is unproven, and they need to tone it down a notch.

  • enlightenone

    @stanhope: And what’s great about Vito, and what will be the coverage?

  • solacesoul

    @stanhope. Sure, Vito is great. At starfucking.

  • Geoff B

    Several things went through my mind watching this speech and reading the comments. 1. Great speech. No doubt just by being open about himself, he has done a lot of good for the younger of us who get to see someone who is like them shatter another ceiling. Even if it keeps one kid from hurting themself because they realize they may be able to reach a goal, it’s enough. 2. Yes. He will have to prove himself. Many college superstars don’t. I hope he has a great career and does great things (as long it’s not when the Rams play the Packers). 3. Yes, Daly is a big deal in his own right, but for a gay athlete to break the wall and play in the big 4 (baseball, football, basketball, hockey) is huge. Diving is never going to be as big as the NFL, MLB, NHL, or NBA.. 4. He and his boyfriend seem very happy. They are a happy young couple. Unless there is evidence to the contrary, let’s not crap on them. Young gay couples have enough to deal with when they aren’t living under a microscope. Michael and Vito already have enough random naysayers. Let’s as their community not add to that.

  • vive

    Am I the only one who finds all this crying embarrassing and cringeworthy? I guess all this drama is an American thing.

  • Tackle

    Let me say this, I have no ill will towards Sam or his bf Vito. But I I’m cautious and sceptical. This award he deserves, due to him coming out before his career (pro) got started. That is courageous. But for the time being, lets stop now. Aside from sports, we really do not know what type of person Michael Sam is. He could be the biggest jerk or drug user for all we know. Now it’s time to let HIM prove himself as a player and a gay man whose worthy of more accolades.

    And for the record, he did not write the speech. And he knew that he would be receiving this award, that he would read from a teleprompter. @vive: And no you. are not the only one who finds all this crying embarrassing & cringworthy ,and may I add, unnecessary. But the crying is a ploy to appear all emotional in breaking ground, but it’s to cover the fact that he is fumbling and stumbling over words, due to tha fact that he cannot read that well.

    • enlightenone

      @Tackle: Appreciate your perspective as usual! I choose to post a lot on this blog because the people I have chosen to be of service are gay youth. And the age group that is vocal, in the media, etc. is 5 – 10 years older. What I am determined to do is educate and enlighten given my unique life experiences, self-identity, orientation, parent of s transgender adult, formal education and training, etc. Part of this attempt to offer insight and to educate to challenge how we define what is as it impacts what gay youth hear, see, perceive in the world during the impressionable time of their awareness of their sexuality and identity formation at a time when, yes, there has been advancements for LGBTQ people, but also much harm and the technology to make it an integral part of their lives, in other words unavoidable! There are so many You Tubers these days that is filling the vacuum of thirst for knowledge, advice, etc. Not to make this an essay, I would say that from my perspective, I don’t see “courage” (not intended to correct you), but rather taking the risk, motivated by his feelings for Vito that he chose to tell his team and others about his sexual orientation while in college. That’s more than enough reason to support his developing relationship with his boyfriend. This is what my generation fought and died! From what I could assess from his sharing, specifically in this month’s OUT magazine interview, he didn’t know he was going to be a pro baller although I’m sure that was his goal/dream, let alone make “history.” It’s more about the “right” people around him, timing, etc. Being as young as he was at the time he shared with his team was pretty much in alignment with his life and psychological development – as it should be. To me, if there is an award given (in perspective) it would be for being the “first” OUT football player while pursuing his dream. That is the message for gay youth. Unlike the praise of courage, bravery, etc. for someone like Collins and that Australian swimmer who insisted he was straight, wrote an autobiography that is stated he only slept with women, he wasn’t gay, etc., all this long after his career was over. This also is about Robin Roberts getting awards for finally “coming out” of her closet. Is she good at her work, yes!

  • Tackle

    Thanks. And I appreciate yours. But the one thing that stands out for me, ( and hopefully I’m understanding you here) is that his relationship with Vito should be supported? If that’s what you ARE saying, then I would have to disagree.

    As you have written on here, about some of the posters being sweet, or nice guys, and I agree with you, that you can tell, by thier post, the words and wording they use. And maybe there is more that you pick-up. I can pick up things also from people. Particularly with pictures. Now in my previous post, I mentioned that Michael could be the biggest jerk. Could be, but I doubt it. What I do get, naive, trusting, and a bit slow. All the things that a person who is
    selfish, manipulative and exploitive ( Vito) could and will take advantage of. There is just something about him, that I do not trust.
    I would believe otherwise ( when ) Michael buys Vito a expensive car/watch or other, which he WILL do, and if Vito rejects it and let it be known that he’s with Michael for Michael and nothing more, then I will change my tune. But I clearly see that’s not going to happen. So in my opinion, this developing relationship should not be supported.

    • enlightenone

      @Tackle: Actually, I have my own reservations about this guy Vito. And no, my comment about having a relationship and wanting to be out in the world with his (any) boyfriend is enough of a motivator to share with his team/”family” as any college student would, NOT SUPPORTING their relationship per se (though we don’t know (not that we are suppose to now things that are private) much about Michael either about what he is about for obviously choosing Vito and choosing to be a couple to the world. I do post at other blogs, and have commented on my concerns for his (his choice of course) choice of boyfriend given the world he now finds himself in – a world of just him – at least for Obama, there is Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, but he stands alone as being a Black president! However, he has his family, particularly Michelle, his mother-in-law, and some best friends that he can TRUST/not be exploited, and are accomplished “players” of the same world.

      I am not privy to who Michael has though he did give much credit for where he is with the gentlemen he named during his award speech. Vito, ex-boyfriend of at least one porn “performer,” mafia family background (as reported anyway), and having first met when Vito was vomiting and being a little “bitch” makes ME question his character – but that’s just me. What I do know is whomever you couple with and what they do and their background, people do see it as a reflection of you.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @stanhope: AMEN regarding Ogre!!!! What a [email protected]Tackle: Shame on you! He is brighter than you are, just by your words. And he’s accomplished a heck of a lot more!

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