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Supporters rally around football player Michael Sam after his announcement that he’s gay


In a little less than three months, Michael Sam will most certainly become the first openly gay active player in NFL history.

Then what?

Will Sam be greeted with acceptance, taunts or — as many believe — ambivalence?

Truth is, no one knows for sure. That’s the problem with firsts. There’s no template to follow.

Several Dolphins players sent out messages of encouragement to Sam, including this one: “#respect bro. It takes guts to do what you did. I wish u nothing but the best.”

Richie Incognito, the face of the Dolphins’ bullying scandal, privately used vile slurs in text message conversations with teammate Jonathan Martin. On Sunday, however, Incognito joined those locally and around the globe to voice their support for Sam.

That list includes First Lady Michelle Obama, who on Monday said he is “an inspiration to all of us. ... We couldn’t be prouder of [his] courage both on and off the field.”

But what about when the plaudits die down and the world stops watching? Many are taking a wait-and-see approach to the long-term ramifications.

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