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Barack Obama applauds Michael Sam

Updated: February 17, 2014, 6:21 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- President Barack Obama is praising University of Missouri football player Michael Sam for announcing he is gay before the NFL draft.

"I really like the fact that Michael did it before the draft because his attitude was, 'You know what, I know who I am. I know I can play great football and judge me on the merits,' " Obama said of Sam, who could become the NFL's first openly gay player, in a taped interview that aired during TNT's pregame coverage of Sunday's NBA ...

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