It was the photo seen ’round the world: Newly drafted Michael Sam sharing a congratulatory smooch with Vito Cammisano. Suddenly, people wanted to know about the boyfriend of the first openly gay NFL player.
Turns out he has Kansas City ties.
Like Sam, the 23-year-old attended the University of Missouri, where Cammisano swam competitively from 2009 to 2012.
He honed those swim skills in the water at Rockhurst High School, where he swam the 500 freestyle for the school’s championship swim team. He swam the same event, and the 1,650 freestyle, at MU.
A story in MU’s student newspaper reported that Cammisano came out to his Tiger teammates in 2011.
His Facebook page says he worked as an assistant in MU’s office of disability services and is currently an intern for Cumulus Broadcasting.
It’s unclear how long he and Sam have been dating, though photos of the two together have appeared on social media the last few months.
The picture of them kissing after the St. Louis Rams drafted Sam near the end of the seventh and final round on Saturday instantly went viral. The photo was taken at the San Diego home of Sam’s agent.
Cammisano’s name may be familiar to Kansas Citians for another reason:
According to Cammisano’s bio on the MU swim team’s website, he is the youngest child of Jerry and Josephine Cammisano. Vito Cammisano’s grandfather was William Cammisano Sr., one of the most feared mobsters in Kansas City history, who died in 1995. The scrap dealer, a four-time felon who had been arrested more than 100 times, was widely known as Willie the Rat.