Students Unite Block Westboro Baptist Church’s Protest of Michael Sam
These are the words tweeted by openly gay football star Michael Sam, thanking his University of Missouri family for their support. He posted this message after arriving at the school and seeing a group of Mizzou students surrounding the perimeter in order to block out a Westboro Baptist Church protest.
— Michael Sam (@MikeSamFootball) February 16, 2014
The Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) is an unaffiliated Baptist church known for its extreme ideologies, especially those against gay people. The church is widely described as a hate group. It is headed by Fred Phelps and consists primarily of members of his large family; in 2011, the church stated that it had about 40 members. The church has been involved in actions against gay people since at least 1991. In addition to conducting anti-gay protests at military funerals, the organization pickets other celebrity funerals and public events that are likely to get it media attention. Protests have also been held against Jews and some protests have included WBC members stomping on the American flag.
— Westboro Baptist (@WBCSays) February 15, 2014
— Jacob Farkas (@HighFiveFarkas) February 15, 2014
Supporters are now using the hashtag #StandWithSam to tweet their support for the athlete.