Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons on Sunday applauded Michael Sam for coming out gay.

Sam came out last week in interviews with ESPN and The New York Times. The college football player is a strong NFL draft prospect. If drafted, Sam would become the NFL's first openly gay player.

“Good for him,” Simmons told Talk to Al Jazeera host Soledad O'Brien. “Bad for America that he's the first openly gay [player]. … There's a lot of gay players that will be proud of him and rooting for him – gay football players, right now, in every locker [room] in almost every team, who are rooting for him, and straight guys like me, rooting for him.”

Simmons also reiterated his support for marriage equality.

“Gays should get the rights that we want for ourselves,” Simmons said. “The respect that we demand for ourselves, we should give to others. … People should have the right to live freely in our society, you know?”