University of Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, an NFL hopeful, announced publicly Sunday that he is gay, and he largely received praise from the pro football world on Twitter.
Jonathan Martin, an offensive tackle who walked away from the Miami Dolphins last season after he said he was bullied, tweeted, "Hats off to you Michael Sam, that takes some guts. #respect."
Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams wrote, "I could care less about a man's sexual preference! i care about winning games and being respectful in the locker room!"
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Tom Crabtree tweeted, "Good for Michael Sam. Takes courage for where he is in his career and where we are as a league. I applaud him."
A fellow Mizzou alum, Kansas City Chiefs reserve quarterback Chase Daniel, wrote, "Had multiple convos with @MikeSamFootball this year, amazed at his honesty & courage!"
Hall of Fame defensive back Deion Sanders wrote, "Michael Sam isn't the 1st gay player in the NFL although he is the 1st 2 come out.#realtalk Let's show him love like a family member. Truth"
Former running back Tiki Barber tweeted, "Great courage by SEC Def POY...It's time for the NFL to show it's colors!"
On the flip side, former Dallas Cowboys and San Diego Chargers wide receiver Patrick Crayton posted a link to a story about Sam, then added, "Oh wow!!! There goes the NFL! ... Stay in the closet and keep to urself!!!"
Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes posted, "I've never really understood the big deal about knowing someone's sexual preference. I don't care. ... Realistically my "don't give a damn" attitude isn't everyone's, so there are some that this won't go over so well with."
Similarly, ex-Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Ravens cornerback Fabian Washington wrote, "I'm so tired of hearing about who gay and who not. I could care less."
Sam reacted on his Twitter account, "I want to thank everybody for their support and encouragement,especially @espn, @nytimes and @nfl. I am proud to tell my story to the world!" He added his thanks to family and teammates.