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One (game) and done: Michael Sam "stepping away from football"


Viper

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Couldn't find a CFL thread here, and there's no other open thread for this story to go, so...

Michael Sam signed with the CFL Montreal Alouettes earlier this season. Last week he played in his first game for the team, thus becoming the CFL's first openly gay player.

Alas, his first game also turned out to be his last. Today Sam announced he's leaving the Als, citing mental health issues for doing so.

Does he get another shot at the NFL, or even the CFL, down the road after this?

Discuss...

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Couldn't find a CFL thread here, and there's no other open thread for this story to go, so...

Michael Sam signed with the CFL Montreal Alouettes earlier this season. Last week he played in his first game for the team, thus becoming the CFL's first openly gay player.

Alas, his first game also turned out to be his last. Today Sam announced he's leaving the Als, citing mental health issues for doing so.

Does he get another shot at the NFL, or even the CFL, down the road after this?

Discuss...

For now, he is on Montreal's Suspended List, so he is still under contract.

If he is released from the contract and he is mentally prepared to continue playing by say October, the FXFL and its modified scrimmages is his only outdoor option for playing in 2015.

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Sam was a far better "human interest story" than he was a professional football player. His only shot at the NFL or CFL after this is selling beer in the stadium. His playing career is over.

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Sam was a far better "human interest story" than he was a professional football player.

And essentialy, that's all the media wanted from him. They squeezed all of the gayness they could out of him so that they'd have something to talk about. His football skills? Not nearly as important.

He was a fringe NFLer to begin with, then clowned everyone who sided against meathead football coaches and their "distractions" canard by doing nothing but causing distractions. Better luck next time, I guess.

Sam's become a bit of a clown. Or, at least a bit of an attention-seeker. I lost a bit of respect for him once it was made known that his needing of time away from training camp earlier this season was due to breaking up with his boyfriend.

Bingo. He is an attention-seeker. He knows that his football skills alone won't make him famous, so he resorts to his sexual preference.

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Sam was a far better "human interest story" than he was a professional football player.

And essentialy, that's all the media wanted from him. They squeezed all of the gayness they could out of him so that they'd have something to talk about. His football skills? Not nearly as important.

He was a fringe NFLer to begin with, then clowned everyone who sided against meathead football coaches and their "distractions" canard by doing nothing but causing distractions. Better luck next time, I guess.

Sam's become a bit of a clown. Or, at least a bit of an attention-seeker. I lost a bit of respect for him once it was made known that his needing of time away from training camp earlier this season was due to breaking up with his boyfriend.

Bingo. He is an attention-seeker. He knows that his football skills alone won't make him famous, so he resorts to his sexual preference.

Exactly where did he "seek" attention?

He never sought fame, this level of fame was trust upon him.

He was good enough at football as a child which allowed him to earn a scholarship to Missouri.

He played well enough to earn DPOY in the SEC and then he announced he was gay.

Your comment seems as if you want everyone in sport to live as a closeted individual if he plays sport.

The OWN reality show is the only place where one could criticize him, and apparently that show was notnfilmed. But when the typical NFL player only lasts 4 seasons, why not take the $$$? DeSean Jackson took BET $$$ for a show, Kroy Bierman married into a reality show and Decker has a show too, by many of y'all seem to only focus on the Blacks and TV shows.

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It's a shame. Wish him well but also wish we could have finally broke that barrier.

I am still very glad he came out, though. That was important. We just had the first MLB-signed player come out (in the Brewers' farm system), and his story tells us exactly why Sam was needed:

Brewers minor-leaguer makes history by coming out as gay

A first baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers' rookie affiliate in Helena, Mont., (David) Denson had just entered the clubhouse a month or so ago when a teammate jokingly referred to him using a derogatory term for a gay male. It was the kind of profane, politically incorrect banter heard in that environment since team sports have been around.

That teammate had no way of knowing Denson actually is gay, but the 20-year-old slugger of African-American and Hispanic descent quickly seized the opportunity.

"Be careful what you say. You never know," Denson cautioned the player with a smile.

Walls come down one brick at a time. Sam might not have made it to the field, but he took down a whole lotta bricks, and I'm grateful to him for it.

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In the end Michael Sam was too small, slow and had some other personal issues that seem to get in the way. Hopefully he got a useful degree and can find a good life elsewhere.

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Jackie Robinson was selected to break the color barrier because he was not only a great ballplayer but had the resilience to deal with all that went along with it.

Michael Sam was not that "ideal" Jackie Robinson-like person to break this barrier. First, while a good college player, he was not certain to achieve NFL greatness. Second, it appears he may not have been able to handle all that went along with being "the first". Or maybe, regardless of that, he may not have had the resilience to handle the NFL/CFL demands. If a breakup was really responsible for all that time missed, then maybe the NFL life was not for him.

So he removed a brick from that wall. But not as big of a brick as we'd have hoped. It was nice to see that his Missouri teammates knew about his orientation and 1) accepted it and 2) did not let it get out for the world to see (in this age of Twitter). It was good to see more people cheering for him than against him. It was good to see a few teams give him a shot.

And I don't think he did any long term damage (i.e., he looks soft so "all gays must be soft" or "see 'distractions' are a legitimate concern"). The people that say that crap are the ones that are going to be dragged kicking and screaming to the new normal regardless.

As for how he handled it, for the most part, I cannot question him. I cannot know what it's like to have to decide when/whether to come out when you are in his shoes. He may have allowed himself to get caught up in some of the hype (Dancing with the Stars may have upset some football coaches who feel that football players should be working on football, thinking about football, football, and also football, regardless of orientation), but he's a young guy in the spotlight.

Ultimately it was a good thing; the NFL got a taste of how this may go and will be just a little more ready next time. Even if he was not the ideal "barrier breaker."

We have had some NBA games, NFL pre-season games, and now Minor League Baseball games. Everything with marriage and acceptance in general society has moved pretty fast and I think there will be pretty minimal issues/haters regarding sports in as few as ten years.

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Absolutely. The first openly gay player to actually take the field in a preseason game will make Sam a footnote. And then the first openly gay player to play in a real game, if it's somebody else, will make that guy a footnote. That's the way it goes.

There will be additional milestones - we all know who was the first African-American quarterback in a Super Bowl - but that first regular-season game will be the big one. And Sam's contribution to this point will help get us there.

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You know he was in the close, but the NFL already had a strong Gay player named Jerry Smith who looking at his stats for Tight Ends of his era could be considered at least a borderline Hall of Famer.

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Yeah, Smith was one of the gay men who played for Washington under Vince Lombardi, who was decades ahead of his own era.

Lombardi didn't stand for prejudice of any kind, and unlike most he extended that to sexual orientation. Lombardi told his coaches he'd flatten anyone caught throwing homophobic abuse at the gay players.

Unfortunately, Vince Lombardi wasn't American society, and Smith had to stay closeted. Thanks to Michael Sam, the next Jerry Smith won't have to hide or lie.

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