Michael Sam, who would become the first ever openly gay NFL player if drafted in May, is on the cover of the new issue of Sports Illustrated magazine. The cover reads 'America Is Ready For Michael SAM', 'Is The NFL Ready For Michael'
The former University of Missouri player lead the SEC in sacks last season.
Sam, who recently announced his sexuality to the world has recently seen his stock decline overnight as a direct result of his announcement. He is now predicted to be selected in the 5th round of the draft having previously been anticipated to be selected in the 3rd round.
The response from the NFL has in general been positive but there has been evidence from certain quarters that some might not be quite ready for a gay NFL player. Carolina Panthers cornerback Drayton Florence was quoted delivering a mixed message regarding Sam's decision, "No comment but it can be a distraction in the locker room" before adding "at least he's open with it much respect".
Sam has isolated himself in his profession by being so brave and coming out but that is likely to end very quickly if he keeps up the same form that made him an elite player in the college ranks.