Derrick Ward
Derrick Ward: The NFL player launched into homophobic attack on Michael Sam Getty

National Football League running-back Derrick Ward has lambasted Michael Sam, after the league's first openly gay player kissed his boyfriend on national television.

During the NFL draft, the St. Louis Rams picked Sam at number 249 in the seventh round. In celebration, an emotional Sam hugged his family and friends, briefly kissing his boyfriend Vito Cammisano after the call with Jeff Fisher, the Rams coach.

Yet Ward, a former Super Bowl winner, turned to Twitter to launch a homophobic attack on Sam, criticising ESPN for broadcasting Sam's sexuality.

He tweeted: "Man U got little kids lookin at the draft. I can't believe ESPN even allowed that to happen."

"I'm sorry but that Michael Sam is no bueno for doing that on national tv. I'm fine with it being a new day in age but for him to do that on."

He also stated that the Bible would explain his argument "a lot". He wrote: "But for real though most of u need to read the bible. It'll explain a lot in that book. #knowledge."

Ward later insisted that Sam's sexuality was not the issue and claimed he would have been bothered if he had kissed a woman instead.

Ward went on to tweet that putting "your tongue into the other person's mouth is a little overboard. But people seen that as oh i'm bashing him because he's gay. Who cares!!!"

His last tweet on the subject read: "Twitter. The people that twisted my words around are the same people who are on twitter 24/7 trying 2get some1 famous 2 say the wrong thing."

According to the Miami Herald, Don Jones, a current Miami Dolphins player, also tweeted "horrible" and "OMG" in reaction to the kiss. Dennis Hickey, the Dolphins General Manager, said he was "disappointed" with Jones' comments.

After completing his college football career, Sam publicly came out as homosexual. His selection by St Louis means he has become the first publicly gay player to be drafted in the league.