Michael Sam away from CFL team for 'personal reasons'
Michael Sam's CFL career has hit a snag.
The Montreal Gazette first reported that Sam hadn't practiced with the Montreal Alouettes since Thursday because of a migraine headache. Then, he apparently left the team on Friday and flew to Texas because of "personal reasons." The Alouettes will play their first preseason game on Saturday night.
The Alouettes released a statement regarding Sam Friday evening:
"The Montreal Alouettes organization would like to clarify the situation surrounding international defensive end Michael Sam. Friday morning, Michael asked the team a special permission to leave training camp and return home for personal reasons.
"With all due respect for Michael Sam, the nature of this decision will remain confidential.
"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.
"The organization will have no further comment on this matter at this time."
A Montreal radio host saw Sam at the airport.
"Just bumped into (Sam) at Trudeau. Headed home for personal reasons. Only small Cotton Bowl bag with him," TSN 690's Rick Moffat said on Twitter. "Seemed rushed, mind elsewhere when I introduced myself. Don't think he had enough luggage with him to be bailing or bugging out."
Alouettes head coach Sam Higgis was taken aback by Sam's absence on Friday, especially since the latter had attended team meetings on Thursday night.
"This surprises me right now. I thought he would have been out here," Higgins said the team's statement was released.
Sam made news in 2014 as the first openly gay player in the NFL. He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams but was released at the end of the preseason. He spent time on the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad before being cut loose. He signed a two-year contract with the Alouettes in late May.