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LOS ANGELES — Michael Sam delivered an incredibly powerful speech after accepting the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2014 ESPYs on Wednesday night.
There weren’t many dry eyes in the room following the words of Sam, who was honored for his decision to publicly come out and become the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL.
Sam emotionally quoted Ashe’s words of wisdom, that included: Start Where You Are, Use What You Have and Do What You Can.
“Those were words to live by,” Sam said. “Whether you’re white or black. Young or old. Straight or gay.”
Sam fought back tears on stage, and he ended his speech by telling the story of a gay woman who told him she never again consider committing suicide after he came out as gay.
Sam’s powerful message: “To anyone out there, especially young people feeling like you don’t fit in, or are not accepted, great things can happen when you have the courage to be yourself.”
Sam brought boyfriend Vito Cammisano on the red carpet and specifically thanked him.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson presented the award. Jason Collins, the first openly gay athlete in the NBA, was shown cheering in the audience.
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