Michael Sam Placed on Alouettes' Suspended List

Mike Schultz | Updated Oct 04, 2017

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Not long after signing a two-year deal with the Montreal Alouettes, the CFL team announced this week that Michael Sam has been placed on the league’s suspended list in order to attend to a personal matter in Texas.

The move, which is most likely procedural should Sam make a return to Montreal, was announced today as the team prepares to make final cuts in preparation for it’s season opener against the Ottawa Redblacks on June 25th.

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Montreal’s general manager Jim Popp spoke to the Montreal Gazette on Sunday, saying he was surprised that Same left. “There’s nothing to tell you. He wanted to go home, and that’s what he did,” explained Popp. “I don’t know why. When a guy wants to go home, they go home. He had some personal things to take care of.”

On Friday, the Alouettes announced that Sam was leaving training camp to return to his home state of Texas for undisclosed reasons. There was no mention of whether Sam planned to return, but Popp did say he wouldn’t be surprised to see him back.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he returns. I’m surprised he left,” said Popp. “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.”

The Alouettes have declined to disclose the nature of Sam’s departure out of respect for his privacy and are willing to welcome him back when he feels ready, according to a statement on the team’s site.

Sam was the first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team prior to the league’s 2014 season in the seventh round of the draft by the St. Louis Rams. After failing to make the final roster in St. Louis prior to the start of the season, Sam signed with the Dallas Cowboys for a spot on the practice squad but was released again in October.

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