1. For the first time after publicly coming out as gay, Michael Sam returned to his alma mater Saturday night and received a standing ovation from supporters.
2. The defensive end returned with the Mizzou Tiger football team to accept the 2014 Cotton Bowl Championship Trophy during halftime of the Mizzou vs. Tennessee basketball game.
4. Not only was Sam applauded — hundreds of students blocked a protest staged by Westboro Baptist Church, an anti-LGBT hate group, according to the Mid-Missouri Traveler.
5. Shirley Phelps-Roper, a leader at Westboro, was there to personally condemn Sam and his supporters.
“They comforted him in his sin, Michael Sam, this past week,” she said. “They just absolutely went crazy when he announced and told the world he is a filthy pervert and a rebel against God. They fawned all over him.”
6. But the small protest was overwhelmed by a silent wall of hundreds of students organized on Facebook by Mizzou sophomores Kelaney Lakers and Alix Carruth to “stand with Sam.”
“We’re both Christians,” Lakers told KRCG 13. “The thing is God is love. What they are doing is hateful, but being hateful is a sin. We’re also supposed to show love to them. We are not going to be yelling things at them or be vulgar. It’s not about that.”