Hundreds of University of Missouri students, administrators and Columbia residents gathered along Faurot Field Saturday in support of former MU Football player Michael Sam on Saturday.
Sam recently came out last week, and a group from Kansas was scheduled to protest the move.
MU students Kelaney Lakers and Alix Carruth organized the event when they heard members of the Westboro Baptist Church planned to come to Columbia to protest Sam yesterday afternoon. They noted that Texas A&M students organized a similar event when Westboro members announced they would picket a funeral there. The group never showed up for the funeral.
Fourteen Westboro members showed up in Columbia yesterday afternoon and stood at Providence Road and Stadium Boulevard near the football stadium. They held up signs with derogatory slogans about Sam and homosexuality. But they were far outnumbered by Sam supporters, who made a half-mile-long “human wall” along Stadium near Faurot Field.
The group even included former MU football players, who have been overwhemingly supportive of Sam’s decision to come out. Sam could make history by becoming the NFL’s first openly-gay player if selected by a team in this year’s upcoming draft.
He played the entire 2013 season at MU, and his teammates and coaching staff knew that he was gay. Sam led the Tigers to finishing sixth in the SEC East. Instead the Tigers won the division and finished 12-2.
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