Visa Taps Michael Sam for Major Endorsement

5.8.2014

By Aaron Hicklin

Deal reflects new-found status of LGBT athletes

As Michael Sam hunkers down in San Diego with his agent to await the all-critical NFL draft, ABC News is reporting that he's secured his first major endorsement deal with Visa. The spot, a slow-mo workout sequence, subtly plays on Sam's sexual orientation by having the player ask readers to "Judge me for what I do on the field."

Visa's chief marketing officer, Kevin Burke, told ESPN.com, "We felt that Michael's story was a perfect fit for our 'everywhere' campaign, which is meant to inspire people to reach their own personal goals and aspirations. We wish Michael the best on and off the field as he embarks on the next chapter of his life."

Visa's endorsement is a major signal that Sam will find support if, as anticipated, the former Missouri defensive end makes the draft to a major team in the next few days, becoming the first openly gay NFL player.

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