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Michael Sam had those in the audience at the ESPYs, as well as viewers at home, emotional as he accepted his award for the Arthur Ashe Courage Award on Wednesday night.
Sam, who made history as the first openly gay NFL draftee, got a standing ovation upon accepting the award.
His moving speech included a quote from Arthur Ashe, and of course, some inspiring words of his own, The Hollywood Reporter reports.
“This year I had a lot of experience being part of something bigger than myself. At times, I felt like I'd been living in a massive storm, ... but the lessons learned — love, respect and being true to yourself — will never leave me," he said.
He went on to acknowledge his involvement in coming out as being able to “save lives,” adding, "The way I see it, my responsibility at this moment in history is to stand up for everyone out there who wants nothing to be themselves openly.”’ He even shared an emotional story about speaking to someone who was suicidal.
E! Online notes Sam concluded by thanking his teammates, his coaches and University of Missouri. He also thanked his boyfriend, Vito Cammisano, who he called “my inspiration.”
Watch his heartfelt speech below:
image courtesy of INFphoto.com