Michael Sam, the NFL's first openly gay player, gave a moving speech at the 2014 ESPY Awards, where he was presented with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
Sam was given a standing ovation as he made his way to the stage, where he was presented with his award by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
“This year I have a lot of experience being part of something bigger than myself,” a tearful Sam said in accepting his award. “At times, I felt like I was living in a massive storm, but I'm here to tell you the lessons I learned about love and respect will never leave me.”
He said of Cammisano, who was seated in the audience: “Vito, people tell me I'm very inspirational, but you're my inspiration.”
He ended with a note to LGBT youth.
“I promise to spend the rest of my life trying to live up to this honor and be the best football player I can [be],” he said. “To anyone out there, especially young people, feeling like they don't fit in and will never be accepted, please know this: Great things can happen when you have the courage to be yourself.”