HOUSTON Add Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson to the list of athletes that support the decision of Missouri DE Michael Sam to publicly announce he s gay.

As far as we know, he s the first one to come out and say it and you have to respect him a lot for that, Johnson said on Wednesday. It s not like he s being under cover with it. To me, you respect him more for that.

Sam, the 2013 Co-Defensive Player of the Year in the Southeastern Conference, made his announcement this past Wednesday and could be the first openly gay player to play in the National Football League.

Over the past few days, the discussion about Sam s announcement has taken over sports talk both on television and on the radio. Some of the conversation has centered on the reaction Sam will get if he s drafted in May.

Everybody says what they would do, how they would react or whatever but you don t know until you re in that position, Johnson said. He s not hiding anything; he s not pretending to be someone else.

Johnson thinks the decision by Sam could be a good thing in the long run.

I think when someone comes out and says something like that you respect him more, you know what it is and you just move on from it, Johnson said. As you can see with his teammates (at Missouri), they didn t treat him any differently. A lot of people say he came out and had one of his best years so it maybe lifted a weight off of his shoulders.

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