Michael Sam Quits Football: First openly gay player, retires for mental health reasons

Michael Sam Quits Football : First openly gay player, retires for mental health reasons

Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted by the NFL, has quit football.

In a series of tweets on Friday, Michael Sam announced that he was stepping away from football following a year of setbacks in his professional career. Citing a difficult last year in which he felt concern for his mental health at times, Sam thanked the Montreal Alouettes for giving him the opportunity to play on the team and said he hoped to be back playing soon.

About a year ago, Sam was cut from the St. Louis Rams in a final round of cuts before the season started. A rookie, Sam then moved on to play for the Dallas Cowboys’ practice team, where he was cut again. He became nationally famous when he was drafted in 2014 as the first openly gay football player.

From his Twitter account, which has a profile picture of him wearing his college jersey, Sam explained his decision to followers.

His step away from football follows his professional football debut last week, when he played a lukewarm game for the Alouettes in which he was unable to make a tackle during 12 plays while he was on the field and was badly fooled during a play that allowed the opposing team, Ottawa, to get a touchdown. His time with the Alouettes was contentious, and it was said that he walked out on teammates and took two weeks away from the team’s training camp for personal reasons.

Michael Sam made national headlines when he told his teammates during an ESPN interview in 2014 that he was gay. He had previously come out to his teammates at the University of Missouri, where he played in college, and found that they were supportive. His coming out stirred some controversy, including protests from the Westboro Baptist Church.

While a player for the University of Missouri, Sam was a celebrated defensive player. He earned several awards and accolades and frequently started on the varsity team his senior year.

  • Glock _ 10

    He won’t play again…………Nobody will miss him……..

  • Susan Cooper

    At this he needs to be realistic and realize he will probably never get another chance to be a football player professionally. It is obvious he has emotional problems that have completely overwhelmed him. He allowed himself to be the poster child of gay athletes by special interests gay groups who desperately wanted a face in the NFL. It’s interesting how he was the only one they got to go along with this considering his skills as a player is average and is last name is not Brady, Manning or Marshall.

    This entire drama started on the negative side and never let up. This average player announced he was gay and suddenly he became a hero and give the award over people who were totally more deserving just as Bruce/Caitlyn. Let’s hope he realizes he is very young and can still contribute to society in a positive way. Maybe he can become an ambassador for the NFL or work for a sporting agency as he does have face recognition. Maybe now is a good time to accept that show from Oprah’s. They can call it What Might Have Been.