Christian conservative Bryan Fischer has criticized the National Football League (NFL) for supporting Michael Sam, who on Saturday became the first openly gay football player drafted by the NFL.

Sam, a 24-year-old All-American defensive end, was picked Saturday by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh and final round of this year's draft.

(Related: Michael Sam becomes first openly gay player drafted by NFL.)

In an op-ed titled The NFL's Inexcusable Lack of Compassion for Michael Sam, Fischer, a vocal opponent of gay rights, called on the NFL to pressure Sam to seek therapy for his sexual orientation. Such therapies, often called “reparative therapy,” have been deemed harmful and outlawed to minors in California and New Jersey.

“As I predicted on my radio show, the NFL pressured somebody into drafting the out-of-the-closet Sam, whose combine performance revealed that he is not big enough and strong enough to play defensive line in the NFL and not fast enough and quick enough to play linebacker,” Fischer wrote.

“The NFL is celebrating the sexual equivalent of a brain concussion by going gaga over Michael Sam's sexual proclivities.”

“For a league increasingly priding itself on concern for player safety and health, it is bizarre that they are enthusiastically praising a draftee for a lifestyle that could send him to an early grave.”

Despite reports that Sam is in a committed relationship, Fisher stated that he was at risk for contracting HIV/AIDS.

“If the NFL possessed one ounce of genuine compassion instead of the ersatz kind that exalts what should be condemned, they would be meeting privately with Michael Sam to urge him in the strongest possible terms to pursue reparative therapy in the hopes of saving his life,” he added.