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Sam decides to ‘step away’ from football

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A week after making his debut with the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League, defensive end Michael Sam has decided to take a break from playing football.

In an announcement via Twitter on Friday night, Sam said, “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.”

Sam was the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team when he was selected in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams last year. He was released by the Rams during the preseason and later picked up and let go by the Dallas Cowboys.

In May, Sam signed with the Alouettes. He left the team during training camp for unexplained personal reasons and returned after a two-week absence.

He made his debut for the Alouettes last Friday night, becoming the first openly gay player to appear in a Canadian Football League game.

Sam played sparingly and did not have an impact as the Alouettes lost to the Ottawa Redblacks 26-23 in Ottawa, Ontario.


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