Alouettes GM: Michael Sam 'wanted to go home and that's what he did'
Three weeks after signing with the Montreal Alouettes, LB Michael Sam left the team because, according to the GM, '[H]e wanted to go home -- and that's what he did.'
Last Friday, three weeks after signing with the CFL's Montreal Alouettes, linebacker Michael Sam left the team because, according to the general manager, "he wanted to go home -- and that's what he did."
A year ago, Sam was he first openly gay player drafted into the NFL, but he was cut by the St. Lous Rams before the 2014 season. He was briefly on the Cowboys' practice squad and was signed by the Alouettes in May.
Sam's decision to leave Montreal was unexpected, but the door remains open for him to rejoin the team.
“There’s nothing to tell you," GM Jim Popp said, via the Montreal Gazette. "He wanted to go home, and that’s what he did. I don’t know why. When a guy wants to go home, they go home. He had some personal things to take care of.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he returns. I’m surprised he left. I was very surprised. 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.”
A team source told the Gazette that the former SEC defensive player of the year was struggling to adjust to the Canadian game, and another source said that Sam may have overreacted to criticism from a teammate.
“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,” the source said. “It’s very strange. I have no idea what’s going on. He might have a personal issue.”
Wherever Sam's professional future lies, Popp makes an important point about the relentless coverage of the linebacker's life.
“It’s a huge story because everybody keeps hounding and hounding and hounding. Michael Sam just wants to be a football player,” the GM said. “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. That’s one reason he didn’t want to do interviews and just concentrate on football.”
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