Michael Sam, NFL’s First Openly-Gay Player, to Keynote 2nd Annual HRC Kansas City Equality Brunch

KANSAS CITY - Today, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, announced that Michael Sam, who made history as America’s first openly-gay professional football player, will keynote the organization’s 2nd Annual Kansas City Equality Brunch on Sunday, February 15, 2015.

“We are thrilled that Michael Sam will be keynoting our Kansas City event,” said Angela Cottrell, Kansas City member of the HRC Board of Governors. “By leading an authentic life in a profession that has been historically unwelcoming to LGBT people, he has broken barriers and inspired LGBT people across the country.”

Sam, a Texas native, was chosen as an All-American, and shared the title of Southeastern Conference (SEC) Defensive Player of the Year during the final year of his college football career at the University of Missouri. A defensive end, he then became the first openly gay football player picked by an NFL team when the St. Louis Rams chose him during the league’s 2014 draft.

After publicly coming out, Sam - who made his NFL debut in a preseason game last August and is now a free agent - was chosen to receive the prestigious Arthur Ashe Courage Award, given annually at ESPN’s ESPY awards to a person who shows the fearlessness to stand up for their beliefs no matter the cost. In accepting the Ashe award, Sam said this: "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."

Sam was also named one of GQ magazine’s 2014 “Men of the Year,” and was a finalist for Sports Illustrated’s 2014 “Sportsman of the Year” award.

The 2nd Annual HRC Kansas City Equality Brunch will be held on Sunday, February 15, 2015 with receptions starting at 10:00 AM at The Roasterie, 1204 W. 17th Street, Kansas City, MO, 64108.

For more information, please visit www.hrc.org/kcbrunch

Media credentialing for the event is by invitation only.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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