In May, Michael Sam became the first openly gay football player to be drafted in the NFL. The St. Louis Rams player's tearful reaction to his draft made us cry, and as he took the stage at the 2014 ESPY Awards to accept his Arthur Ashe Courage Award on Wednesday in LA, his heartwarming speech did the same.
Michael tearfully walked up on stage after receiving a standing ovation and was presented with his trophy by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. He addressed the crowd, saying, "This year I have a lot of experience being part of something bigger than myself. At times, I felt like I was living in a massive storm, but I'm here to tell you the lessons I learned about love and respect will never leave me." He also spoke to his boyfriend, Vito Cammisano, saying, "Vito, people tell me I'm very inspirational, but you're my inspiration." He ended his speech with an incredibly inspirational message to young people: "I promise to spend the rest of my life trying to live up to this honor and be the best football player I can. To anyone out there, especially young people, feeling like they don't fit in and will never be accepted, please know this: Great things can happen when you have the courage to be yourself."
— Additional reporting by Alyse Whitney