Openly gay NFL prospect Michael Sam received an overwhelming show of support Saturday night from his fellow Tigers at half-time of the Missouri-Tennesee basketball game.
The Tigers' football team was celebrating their cotton bowl victory during a half-time ceremony at the Mizzou arena.
When coach Gary Pinkel handed the trophy to Sam, who was chosen as the team's MVP, Sam received loud cheers and a standing ovation from the crowd.
Sam, the SEC’s defensive player of the year is expected to be chosen in April’s NFL draft.
He announced last Sunday in an interview that he is gay.
If he is drafted, that would make him the NFL’s first openly gay active player.
Members of the controversial Westboro Baptist church protested outside of the arena.
A number of Mizzou students held hands and formed a wall with their backs turned to the protesters.