Michael Sam is likely to become the first openly gay player to play in the NFL but his decision to come out in February has already provided its fair share of inspiration.
The former Missouri linebacker is seen as a leading light, and this had led to another American footballer coming out as gay just a month after Sam's big statement.
Marcus Juhlin is the player that has come out as gay, and the Swedish enforcer has specifically thanked Sam for his momentous move to come out.
Now football may not be as popular in Sweden as it is in the USA, but there is still plenty of interest in Juhlin's decision and well done to him for taking the leap.
'I was inspired by Michael Sam,' said Juhlin about his decision.
Out.com reported, "He's the first American football player in Sweden to come out, and according to the QX team, the reaction from his team mates and from the other teams in the league have been amazing.
"They all support and respect him," QX editor in chief Anders Öhrmantold us. Marcus sent an email to QX in December stating: ”Please help me come out from the closet and close that door once and for all.” And they did. Juhlin lives in the city of Karlstad and is playing for Carlstad Crusaders. Oh, and in case you're curious, he is single."
Juhlin is the first Swedish football player to come out and it's understood that he will be welcomed with open arms.
Whether Sam will be welcomed with such affection into the NFL remains to be seen, with many different people across the league adopting conflicting stances.
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