02/11/2014 11:16 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Rachel Maddow Cheers Michael Sam's Teammates For How They Handled His Coming Out

Rachel Maddow cheered the University of Missouri on Monday for the way some of its community members responded to Michael Sam's coming out.

Sam, a former defensive lineman at the school, came out on Sunday. He is eligible for the 2014 NFL draft, and is poised to become the NFL's first openly gay active player.

On Monday, Maddow praised Sam's "brilliant career" and called his coming out "brave." But what was also remarkable, the MSNBC host said, was the support for Sam from others at Missouri.

Maddow explained the school's iconic "Rock M," a giant rock formation at Faurot Field in the shape of the letter "M." Then, she pointed to what the formation looked like the morning after Sam came out:

michael sam

michael sam

"Here's to Mizzou fans and his teammates for knowing and caring, here's to the defying of expectations in a good way — best new thing in the world today," Maddow declared.