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Monday, August 17, 2015

MICHAEL SAM HAS LEFT CFLs MONTREAL ALOUETTES - CITES MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS

After playing in just one game, Michael Sam has left the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes.

The first openly gay player to play in the CFL and to ever be drafted by an NFL team announced his departure on Twitter late Friday (14 August).

He wrote: ‘The last 12 months have been very difficult for me, to the point where I became concerned with my mental health. Because of this I am going to step away from the game at this time. I thank the Alouettes for this opportunity and hope to be back on the field soon. Thank you all for your understanding and support.’

Last weekend, Sam made his CFL debut and had no tackles in his team’s 26-23 loss to the Ottawa Redblacks.

In 2014, the University of Missouri graduate was drafted by the St. Louis Rams, a National Football League team, in the seventh round. He was cut but picked up by the Dallas Cowboys as a practice squad player. He never made it to the team’s full roster.

Earlier this summer, the Alouettes signed the defensive end to a two-year deal. During training camp, he left for two-weeks to deal with ‘personal matters.’ He sat out the teams’ first five games.

Sam has split up with longterm boyfriend and fiancé Vito Cammisano.

‘It is all so heartbreaking,’ writes Outsports editor Cyd Zeigler. ‘Sam has clearly struggled with adapting to the spotlight and the world of professional football. Slotted as a draft pick and regular contributor 18 months ago, we have watched as every step forward has been met by a step backward for his career. While other gay athletes have made their way through sports, no one can fully understand what Sam has been through.’

SOURCE: GAY STAR NEWS

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