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Sam becomes first openly gay player in the NFL

Michael Sam has become the first openly gay player in a pro-American football team, after he was picked by the St Louis Rams during a draft.

After hearing of the news he would be playing for St Louis, he hugged, kissed and tweeted a picture of himself with his boyfriend to thousands of fans:

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Thank you to the St. Louis Rams and the whole city of St. Louis. I'm using every once of this to achieve greatness!! http://t.co/QESdOJVzsw

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Tinie Tempah, Gene Simmons perform at NFL match

Tinie Tempah and Gene Simmons were among the acts to perform in the lead up to the Minnesota Vikings' match against the Pittsburgh Steelers tonight at Wembley Stadium.

The Kiss bassist sung 'The Star-Spangled Banner' to a packed crowd prior to kick off.

Tinie Tempah accompanied by Minnesota Vikings cheerleaders before the NFL International Series match.
Tinie Tempah accompanied by Minnesota Vikings cheerleaders before the NFL International Series match. Credit: Simon Cooper/PA Wire
Kiss bassist Gene Simmons sang the US National Anthem at the NFL International Series match.
Kiss bassist Gene Simmons sang the US National Anthem at the NFL International Series match. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Minnesota Vikings cheerleaders stand with their hands on their hearts for the US National Anthem.
Minnesota Vikings cheerleaders stand with their hands on their hearts for the US National Anthem. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Vikings fans show their support ahead of the match against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Wembley Stadium.
Vikings fans show their support ahead of the match against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Wembley Stadium. Credit: Simon Cooper/PA Wire
Minnesota Vikings cheerleaders perform at Wembley Stadium.
Minnesota Vikings cheerleaders perform at Wembley Stadium. Credit: Simon Cooper/PA Wire

Vikings storm Wembley amid clouds of smoke

Smoke billowing from timber doors welcomed the Minnesota Vikings to the Wembley field ahead of their clash against the Pittsburgh Steelers this evening.

The teams tweeted video and pictures of the atmosphere from the ground before kick off.

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Fans arrive at Wembley for NFL International Series

Wembley Stadium will tonight host the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers in the first of two NFL International Series matches to be played in London this year.

Minnesota Vikings fans who are among the 84,000 fans expected to attend tonight's match at Wembley Stadium.
Minnesota Vikings fans who are among the 84,000 fans expected to attend tonight's match at Wembley Stadium. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Tonight's Steelers vs Vikings match is the first of two NFL International Series matches to be played in London this year.
Tonight's Steelers vs Vikings match is the first of two NFL International Series matches to be played in London this year. Credit: Twitter/@widianemoussa
Pittsburgh Steelers fans at the seventh international NFL game to be held in London.
Pittsburgh Steelers fans at the seventh international NFL game to be held in London. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Minnesota Vikings fans on Wembley Way prior to tonight's NFL International Series match.
Minnesota Vikings fans on Wembley Way prior to tonight's NFL International Series match. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

NFL agrees £493m settlement over player brain injuries

The NFL has reached a tentative settlement of $765 million (£493m) over concussion-related brain injuries among former players.

The league has agreed to compensate sufferers, pay for medical exams and underwrite research - subject to approval by a federal judge - just days before the start of the 2013 season.

Former San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau killed himself in 2012. Credit: Joe Giddens/EMPICS Sport

More than 4,500 former athletes - out of a total of 18,000 retired players - have sued the NFL since 2011, claiming the long-term dangers of concussion have been concealed and that injured players have returned to action too quickly.

NFL executive vice president Jeffrey Pash said: "This agreement continues our work to make the game safer for current and future players."

The league insisted safety had always been a top priority but came under pressure to act after former player Junior Seau, who had degenerative brain damage, committed suicide last year.

Praise for British athletes joining NFL football

The Olympic British basketball star and Chicago Bull's player Luol Deng is just one of many athletes who have taken to Twitter to express their delight that Menelik Watson and Laurence Okoye have made the transition to American football.

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Just heard @menelikwatson71 has been drafted into the NFL. This kid was a man child at my camps in the UK. Congrats man, very proud of you!

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@luoldeng9 Appreciate it. Still remember what you said when I was younger. Trying to do for England in football what you do for basketball

Lawrence Okoye signs with the San Francisco 49ers

Lawrence Okoye competing at London 2012
Lawrence Okoye competing at London 2012. Credit: Marius Becker/DPA/Press Association Images

Lawrence Okoye has signed with five-time Super Bowl champions the San Francisco 49ers, despite remaining undrafted by the end of this week's NFL Draft.

Okoye announced the news that he would be joining the team as an undrafted free agent via his Twitter account.

British linebacker Tom Wort was also not drafted.

Read more: Menelik Watson begins dream NFL move in California

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