KUSA - Michael Sam is gay. And Broncos Vice President of Football Operations John Elway fully supports the NFL prospect and would not be against drafting him.

"I applaud Michael Sam and wish him the very best as he continues the pursuit of his NFL dream," Elway said. "As we look toward the combine and draft, we will evaluate Michael just like any other draft prospect - on the basis of his ability, character and NFL potential. His announcement will have no effect on how we see him as a football player."

Sam made the public announcement Sunday - noting that he told his teammates prior to the season at Missouri.

The linebacker was a unanimous All-American in his senior season with the Tigers. He also named co-Defensive Player of the Year in the Southeastern Conference after leading the SEC with 11.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss. Sam is projected to be between a third and a fifth round selection in the NFL Draft.

"Having spent 16 years in an NFL locker room, the bottom line is that it's about treating others with respect and earning that respect," the legendary Broncos quarterback and Pro Football Hall of Famer said. "By all indications, it appears Michael has done just that throughout his football career."

Sam would become the first openly gay player in the NFL and Elway - among others around the league - have made it known that his sexual orientation won't be a factor in his endeavor to play professional football.

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