President Obama is honoring Michael Sam, who on Saturday became the first openly gay player to be drafted by a pro football team after the St. Louis Rams picked him in the seventh round.
"The President congratulates Michael Sam, the Rams and the NFL for taking an important step forward in our Nation's journey," said a White House statement.
"From the playing field to the corporate boardroom, LGBT Americans prove everyday that you should be judged by what you do and not who you are," said the White House of Sam, an award-winning defense end who played at the University of Missouri.
CNN notes that Sam was the 249th of 256 players selected in this year's National Football League draft:
"The 24-year-old got the news by telephone from Rams' coach Jeff Fisher, who told Sam: 'You are a Ram. The wait is finally over.'
"Sam, who was filmed by ESPN as he got the call, broke down in tears and kissed his boyfriend. 'Thank you,' he could be heard saying to Fisher.
"Later, Sam took to Twitter to post a picture of himself, smiling. 'Thank you to the St. Louis Rams and the whole city of St. Louis,' he said in the post. 'I'm using every (ounce) of this to achieve greatness!!'"