During three tweets, the 25-year-old let his followers know, “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.”
The team released a statement supporting Sam.
“With all due respect for Michael Sam, the nature of this decision will reamin confidential,” they said. “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.”
In 2014, Sam was selected in the seventh round NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams. He was then cut by the Rams, joined the Dallas Cowboys’ practice roster and after a brief appearance on Dancing With the Stars, joined the Alouettes.
Six days after announcing his leave, Sam retuned to his native home, Texas, and spoke with his father for the first time since coming out in early 2014.
“First time chatting with my dad since February 2014!!! #love #forgiveness #refocus #nextstep,” he tweeted.
After coming out, Sam’s father told the New York Times he didn’t want children raised in a same-sex environment.
“I don’t want my grandkids raised in that kind of environment,” Michael Sam Sr. said. “I’m old school. I’m a man-and-a-woman type of guy.”
According to Sam, he was hurt by his father’s comments and hadn’t spoken to him since.
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