NFL applauds Michael Sam

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It was inevitable that an NFL player would come out as gay, even if it was unexpected that the declaration would come from a player on the starting edge of his career.

And so it was inevitable that the NFL would greet the moment with an official statement of support.

“We admire Michael Sam’s honesty and courage,” the league said Sunday night.  “Michael is a football player.  Any player with ability and determination can succeed in the NFL.  We look forward to welcoming and supporting Michael Sam in 2014.”

While it’s important for the league to approve Sam’s decision and orientation, the NFL loses control over the process once the draft commences on May 8 in New York City.  That’s when we’ll begin to find out whether the NFL is truly ready to embrace an openly gay player.