Michael Sam Leaves Professional Football For “Mental Health”– Will He Ever Play Again?

Michael Sam, the first openly gay professional football player, has announced that he is leaving his current Canadian Football League team, the Montreal Alouettes, for mental health reasons. Sam made the announcement to his fans via Twitter and Facebook.

During his final year of college football, Michael Sam made headlines when he confirmed rumors regarding his sexuality and expressed a desire to be the first openly gay player in the NFL. Sam seemingly got his opportunity to do so when he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL draft, however, Sam’s time with the Rams was short and he was cut from the roster prior to regular season play.

In September of 2014, the Dallas Cowboys added Michael to their practice squad, but Sam found himself waived again just a month later in favor of linebacker Troy Davis. Many questioned whether Sam had the ability to play professional football or if the sport was just not ready to embrace an openly gay athlete in a sport cloaked in bravado.

Though Sam attended the 2015 NFL Veteran’s combine, he was not picked up by an American teams. For Sam, however, it seemed Michael would still be able to live his dream of playing professional football when the Montreal Alouettes signed Sam to a two-year deal. Sam’s commitment to the team came into question in June, however, when he left training camp to return home for “personal reasons.” At that time the Alouettes expressed support for Sam.

“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.”

Michael Sam took the team up on their generosity and returned to make his CFL debut just last week, a game in which he failed to make a single tackle.

While some people have been supportive of Michael Sam taking the initiative to ensure his own mental health, others on social media have been critical of Sam’s wishy washy love affair with professional football.

Though Michael’s departure this time most likely will make it difficult for the struggling Sam to ever return to the field, his announcement came with the expression of a hope to play again someday.

Will another team take a chance on Michael Sam in the future or is Sam’s pro football career caput? Tell us what you think.

[Image courtesy of Montreal Alouettes.]

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