Michael Sam: students counter-protest Westboro protest; receives standing ovation

Mon. February 17, 2014 8:57 AM by OnTopMag.com

Jefferson City, MO - Students on Saturday blocked an ardent anti-gay church's protest against Michael Sam.

The Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church's protest against Sam at the University of Missouri was diluted by hundreds of students wearing "Stand with Sam" pins who formed a human wall around the school's basketball stadium.

Sam is the 24-year-old Missouri Tigers football player and solid NFL draft prospect who came out gay last week. If drafted, Sam would become the NFL's first openly gay player.

"He told the world he's a filthy pervert and a rebel against God," a Westboro Baptist Church protester told Columbia-Jefferson City CBS affiliate KRCG. "And they fond all over it."

"Because Michael Sam stood up for Mizzou his entire career and we need to stand up for him," one of the organizers of the counter-protest said. (A video report is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

Meanwhile, inside the stadium Sam received a warm welcome during Missouri's basketball game against Tennessee, where he received a standing ovation when he appeared on the arena video boards.

During the game's halftime, Sam and his teammates were honored for their Cotton Bowl win over Oklahoma State.

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine