NFL's First Openly Gay Player Is Stepping Away From The Game

Conor O'Leary
By Conor O'Leary
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It's been quite a time in the life of Michael Sam. In May 2014, he was the first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team. Just over a year later, he has announced that he is stepping away from the sport he loves.

After being drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round, Sam impressed in the preseason. This wasn't enough to make the final roster though, as Sam was dropped in the final cuts before the regular season. He ended up going to Dallas and was a part of the Cowboy's practise squad for just over a month before he was waived.

Since then, he moved to the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League back in May of this year. Just before he was due to play in the Alouettes first pre-season game, he requested personal leave.

Sam finally made his debut for the Canadian team on August 7th against the Ottawa Redblacks, but didn't record a tackle. He then missed the following game before leaving the team yesterday.


Sam cited the strain on his mental health for his reasons for wanting time away from the sport:

It's a sad decline for the defensive end, but there is still some possibility he finds his way back.

See Also: St. Louis Ram's Chris Long Says What Everyone Is Thinking About ESPN's Michael Sam Coverage
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