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Michael Sam leaves the CFL

Ian Watson's picture

After a turmotulous year, which saw Michael Sam be the first openly gay football player drafted in the NFL by St Louis, then cut, picked up by Texas as part of their practice squad, released and finally switching leagues when signed by the CFL’s Montreal Allouettes, Sam announced via Twitter that he’s leaving football for now;

“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”

The Alouettes organization confirmed in a press release Sam has left the club for “personal reasons” and that he has been added to the team’s suspended list.

Sam made his CFL debut for the Allouettes in their loss to the Ottawa Redblacks on Aug. 8. Used sparingly since, he only took part in a handful of plays, finishing with no tackles. He didn’t dress this week and was put on the injured list when Montreal played the Edmonton Eskimos Thursday night.

The Texan was a former SEC co-defensive player of the year in his senior season at the University of Missouri. He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL draft, but failed to make their lineup. After a short spell with the Dallas Cowboys on their practice roster, he signed a two-year contract with the Alouettes.

Sam also missed part of Montreal’s training camp to attend personal matters but returned June 29

With files from The Star and CBC