Missouri students formed a nearly half mile-long human wall to shroud 14 members of the Westboro Baptist Church that were in Columbia, Mo., on Saturday protesting the school’s outpouring of support for defensive end Michael Sam, who revealed earlier this week that he is gay.
The Facebook page for the One Wall, One Mizzou #Stand With Sam initiative lists more than 4,800 attendees. Among the people in the wall was former Tigers offensive lineman Max Copeland.
“This is one of those things where it’s a way to stand up for our brother while still communicating peace, love and acceptance," Copeland told the Columbia Daily Tribune. "No one gets to attack our family member but, at the same time, the spirit of this whole week has been accepting others and loving others, whatever that means. It’s a cool way for everyone to show that love for our family member.”
Mizzou students formed a #StandWithSam wall to keep a protest off campus http://t.co/IaqPeDx6OZ via @notfromkansas pic.twitter.com/K5EicNrPIe
— SB Nation (@sbnation) February 15, 2014
Members of the Westboro Baptist Church are in Columbia, MO today to denounce Michael Sam. pic.twitter.com/RmTM1lIFZx
— RBC (@_TAhmad) February 15, 2014
At halftime of the Missouri-Tennessee basketball game, Sam joined his former teammates and coaches to accept the Tigers' Cotton Bowl Trophy. He held the trophy aloft, waved kisses to the Mizzou student section, rolled out his trademark sack dance and received a roaring ovation.