December 05, 2018

Michael Sam, NFL free agent, first openly gay player to be drafted in any major American sport Michael Sam, NFL free agent, first openly gay player to be drafted in any major American sportSusquehanna University has a slate of events planned to honor the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the Jan. 21 holiday and later that week.

Headlining the university’s annual Winter Convocation is Michael Sam, the University of Missouri football star who was primed for an early-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft when he came out as gay during an ESPN interview.

Sam will deliver his message of courage, graciousness and fortitude at 7 p.m. Jan. 21 in the Degenstein Center Theater located in the Charles B. Degenstein Campus Center.

The event is free and open to the public.

While Sam’s revelation sent shockwaves through the sports world and resulted in a last-round pick by the St. Louis Rams, he emerged as a powerful and prominent icon for inclusion, a pioneer for the LGBTQ community and an exemplar of the resilience and tenacity of the human spirit. Among his many career accolades, Sam was awarded ESPN’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2014 ESPYs. He is currently an NFL free agent.

Additional activities during MLK Week at Susquehanna include the Legacy of MLK - A Day of Teaching on Wednesday, Jan. 23. The daylong event features lectures and readings in topics across the humanities and sciences, including What Would Dr. King Say?: The Practice of Discomfort and the Acceptable Black Man, Practicing Cooperative Reasoning in Divided Times and The Use and Misuse of Race in Medicine.

A special chapel service will be held on Sunday, Jan. 27, at 11 a.m. in Weber Chapel Auditorium, with the Rev. Scott Kershner, university chaplain, presiding. All are welcome.