Meet Michael Sam’s Partner: Vito Cammisano, a Former Missouri Swimmer

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 11 2014 1:03 PM

Meet Michael Sam’s Partner: Vito Cammisano, a Former Missouri Swimmer

When Michael Sam was finally picked in the NFL draft on Saturday, he made headlines for kissing his partner (and smashing cake in his face) in a landmark first for professional football. At the time, not much was known about the guy who stood alongside Sam when he got the news (Slate only identified him as Vito, crediting Outsports). But Vito Cammisano quickly posted a picture of the kiss on his Twitter account.

Now we’re learning more about Cammisano and it’s clear that while Sam may not have shown himself alongside Vito Cammisano in such a public way before, their relationship wasn’t exactly a secret on social media. The day after Sam publicly came out, Cammisano posted a photo of the two of them on Instagram. And it seems it was a long time coming: “After all these years … it’s nice to see a picture of you two,” someone wrote as a comment on that first picture.

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Cammisano was a swimmer for the University of Missouri from 2009-2012. He publicly came out in 2011. “But since it’s not football or basketball, hardly anyone outside of Columbia noticed,” points out SportsGrid. Although some are reporting that Cammisano was the first gay athlete to come out in Missouri, that’s not true. In a story in the Missourian earlier this year, Cammisano publicly credited Greg DeStephen, the first openly gay Missouri athlete, for opening doors: “I’m completely appreciative that Greg did everything he could to make that possible for people that came after him.”

According to his LinkedIn account, Cammisano, who graduated with a degree in communications in 2013, is a “promotions intern” at Cumulus Broadcasting. In his Facebook account, Cammisano only likes one athlete: Michael Sam.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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