Michael Sam, who made history last year when he became the first openly gay player drafted by a National Football League team, announced Friday that he was stepping away from football over concerns about his mental health, Reuters reports.
“The last 12 months have been very difficult for me, to the point where I became concerned with my mental health,” Sam tweeted. “Because of this, I am going to step away from the game at this time.”
Sam, 25, a defensive lineman, signed a contract in May with the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes in hopes of resurrecting his career. But he was suspended in June after he decamped from team training for “unexplained personal reasons,” Reuters reports.
Last year the St. Louis Rams waived Sam in the final round of cuts after picking him in the seventh round of the draft, making him the first openly gay player in the NFL.
As a senior at the University of Missouri, Sam was named the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year before graduating in December 2013, the report says.
Read Sam’s Twitter announcement below:
Read more at the Huffington Post.