Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Sports
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Michael Sam wins Arthur Ashe Courage Award 1 day before NFL draft

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. Sam has been selected the winner of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. The Missouri defensive end who likely will be drafted by an NFL team this weekend, will receive the award given to individuals who transcend sports at The 2014 ESPYs on July 16. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson, File)

Enlarge Image

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. Sam has been selected the winner of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. The Missouri defensive end who likely will be drafted by an NFL team this weekend, will receive the award given to individuals who transcend sports at The 2014 ESPYs on July 16. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson, File)

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Michael Sam has been selected the winner of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

The Missouri defensive end, who likely will be drafted by an NFL team this weekend, will receive the award given to individuals who transcend sports at The 2014 ESPYs on July 16.

Sam, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, has announced that he is gay, making him set to become the first openly gay player in the NFL. ESPN is honouring Sam for "his courage and honesty that resonates beyond sports."

"I'm very honoured to be presented with the Arthur Ashe award," he said. "It is about courage.

"You know I don't think there is anything courageous I did. I look forward to when we can live life in a world when gays don't have to come out in public."

Sam said he has received support from athletes in all sports, "from football to basketball to softball to soccer, everyone."

"I am thrilled to be living in a time when you can be accepted for how you live."

Sam joins a prestigious list of winners ranging from Jim Valvano, the first recipient in 1995, to Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King, Cathy Freeman, Nelson Mandela and Pat Summitt.

The award, of course, is named for Ashe, the inspirational tennis star who died in 1993 after contracting AIDS from a blood transfusion. After learning he had the disease, Ashe campaigned to raise awareness about AIDS.

"Arthur always believed in and practiced leading by example," said Ashe's widow, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe. "When Michael Sam announced that he is gay, he courageously stepped forward to engage an issue that still remains a pervasive problem in many professional sports. Michael has displayed true leadership both on and off the field."

Sam is one of eight children from Hitchcock, Texas. Two of his siblings have died and one disappeared and has not been found.

Maura Mandt, executive producer of the ESPYs, calls Sam a "humble guy who isn't looking for any accolades."

"In deciding to give Michael this honour, while his courageous act of coming out is a part of it, the story is about the life he led growing up," Mandt added. "A man who has consistently lived his life with integrity, is never afraid of living this truth."

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Sudden Surge: Flood of 2014
Opportunity Magazine — The Bakken
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media