Newly-drafted gay NFL player Michael Sam has said he is “determined to be great” as part of the St Louis Rams.

Sam was drafted by the Rams on Saturday in the seventh round, much later than had been predicted.

Learning of his selection, which cemented his place as the first openly gay NFL star, Sam burst into tears, before kissing his boyfriend Vito Cammisano in front of the cameras.

He said today at his first ever press conference with the Rams: “[My new teammates] came to me and said, ‘Welcome to the family, let’s get to work’, and that’s what we’re going to do.

“I’m determined to be great. I’m going to train hard and try to make this team.

“I will always support equality, period,” Sam said. “But my job is to focus on football and help this team win a championship.’

“It’s OK to be who you are, gay, straight, black, white – it’s OK to be comfortable in your own skin.

“I’m just looking forward to continuing on my dream. If it inspires other people, I’m with you.

“If someone disowns you [for being gay], be a part of my family. I welcome you. Ram up!”

Last week, Sam signed an endorsement deal with Visa.

Sales of his jersey are currently the second-highest of any rookie player.