Before even stepping foot on an NFL football field, St. Louis Rams player Michael Sam is in the running to receive one of the world’s most renowned accolades. The nomination announcement, which is sure to draw equals shares of praise and ridicule, was made late Thursday night in Oslo. It still remains to be seen if he actually receives the prize but the nomination committee seems to believe Sam is more than worthy of the award.
“Michael Sam is being recognized for the outstanding footwork he’s done to advance the gay & lesbian community. He’s a national hero and should be heralded for not being afraid to be true to himself. Like all of the trailblazers who came before him—Jackie Robison, Rosa Parks, Barack Obama, and the list goes on—Michael will go down as another courageous pioneer. His intimate embrace with his partner on national television will forever mark the birth of a new era for homosexual athletes. Why shouldn’t he be considered for the Nobel Prize?” A rep on behalf of the nomination committee said in a statement.
Michael Sam acknowledged that while he is excited to be recognized for his heroism, he’d like the focus to remain on his actions on the football field. In response to the news, he also jokingly said “Had I known I’d receive a Nobel Prize for kissing my partner on television, I would have invited him to my college games a long time ago.”
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate will be announced in October.