[image-1]Former St. Louis Rams draft pick — and the first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team — Michael Sam, will speak at the Stern Student Center next Tues. Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. The lecture is free and open to he public.

Presented by the Office of Student Life and the Office of Multicultural Programs and Services in observance of Human Rights Day, the talk, “From Hitchcock High to the NFL: I am Michael Sam,” will chronicle Sam’s experiences from being a water boy in high school to playing at the University of Missouri and later being drafted by the St. Louis Rams.

In 2014 Sam won the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, which is presented every year as part of the ESPY awards (you may remember the controversy over 2015’s pick, Caitlyn Jenner). Sam was also named one of GQ Magazine’s Men of the Year in 2014, when he graced the cover.

While Sam hasn’t actually played on an NFL field (he was cut from the Rams after training camp and has spent time on the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad), his football career is no joke: he was named All-American and SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2013 while a senior at Missouri. More importantly, though Sam has been a public spokesman for gay athletes. And in 2015, when he signed with the Montreal Alouettes, he was the first publicly gay player to play in the Canadian Football League. Sam no longer plays football for a league, instead spending his time as a public activist for LGBT rights and anti-bullying campaigns.