Tags: michael sam | suspended | football | montreal alouettes

Michael Sam Suspended Following Leave From Montreal Training Camp

Image: Michael Sam Suspended Following Leave From Montreal Training Camp
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, file)

By    |   Monday, 15 Jun 2015 03:14 PM

Michael Sam, the first openly gay football player to be drafted into the NFL, has been suspended by the Montreal Alouettes after he left training camp over the weekend.

The 25-year-old, who signed a two-year contract with the Canadian Football League team in May, cited personal reasons for his leave, according to BleacherReport.com.

"The Montreal Alouettes fully respect Michael Sam's decision, and we rally around him to offer all the support needed. The team has left the door open, and Michael is welcome to come back whenever he feels ready," the team said in a statement.

In preparation for the regular season, the team released six other players on Monday alongside the announcement regarding Sam’s suspension.

Prior to playing in the CFL, Sam played in the NFL with the St. Louis Rams and the Dallas Cowboys, but was cut from the teams because of limited roster space. This time, however, the team is emphasizing that Sam has not been cut.

"Friday morning, Michael asked the team a special permission to leave training camp and return home for personal reasons,” the Alouettes said, according to ESPN.

Sam’s suspension comes at a time when many of his fans anticipated his eventual return to the NFL. With no NFL teams grabbing for him now, leaving the Montreal Alouettes could signify the end of his major league football career.

“I'm surprised he left. I was very surprised," Jim Popp, Alouettes manager, told the Montreal Gazette. "If he doesn't come back, I would think football's over for him. He's the one that has to face that. But I don't think he doesn't want to play football. That's why he came here."

Popp thinks that the media attention may have gotten to Sam.

“I would think anybody that’s 25 years old that has been going through it for a year and a half, it would have to affect him. I would think so," he said. "That’s one reason he didn’t want to do interviews and just concentrate on football.”

Speculation over Sam’s suspension remains.

“All I know is I heard somebody made a comment about him, about how he wasn’t very good and wasn’t having a very good camp. He took it personally and was pouting in his room,” an anonymous source told the Montreal Gazette.

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Michael Sam, the first openly gay football player to be drafted into the NFL, has been suspended by the Montreal Alouettes after he left training camp over the weekend.
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2015-14-15
Monday, 15 Jun 2015 03:14 PM
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