Michael Sam Leaves Canadian Football Training Camp for Personal Reasons

Lynette Holloway
Michael Sam of the St. Louis Rams watches from the bench during the second half of a preseason game against the New Orleans Saints at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis Aug. 8, 2014.
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Michael Sam, who made history when he became the first openly gay player to be drafted by the NFL in 2014, has left the training camp for a Canadian football team for personal reasons, reports USA Today.

The move comes after some setbacks for the 25-year-old athlete, who was picked by the St. Louis Rams as a seventh-round draft in 2014 amid much fanfare. He was, however, cut at the end of the preseason and later spent time on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad.


He appeared to be getting his football career on track last month when he signed a one-year, $100,000 contract with the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League that included a $150,000 option for 2016, according to the news outlet.

"With all due respect for Michael Sam, the nature of this decision will remain confidential," the Alouettes said in a statement, which said Sam had returned home, writes USA Today. "The Montreal Alouettes fully respect Michael Sam's decision and rally around him to offer him all time and support needed. The team has left the door open and Michael is welcome to come back whenever he feels ready."

The team's preseason opener was Saturday at Ottawa. But USA Today says that Sam had not practiced in recent days because of what the team described as an illness.

His agents did not immediately respond Friday to messages from the publication.

Read more at USA Today.

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