Michael Sam’s professional football career hasn’t exactly gone as he had hoped. The former SEC defensive player of the year and first openly gay football player to get drafted into the NFL has had stints with the Rams and Cowboys but neither ended with him playing in a regular season NFL game. The last we heard from him, he was stepping away from the CFL and pro football in general to focus on his mental health.
On Friday, Sam was a guest on The Dan Patrick Show, and Patrick asked him if he believed that coming out hurt his professional career.
“I’m not going to say … but it probably would have been better for me if I didn’t come out. I would be on a roster.”
Sam also spoke about why he left the Montreal Allouettes, who had signed him to a CFL deal. In addition to the aforementioned mental health reasons, Sam also claimed he was regressing as a player by playing in the CFL.
“I never really wanted to go to the CFL, but I did it and I committed to going. I want to thank the Montreal Alouettes for all they’ve done for me, but I wasn’t getting better as a football player. That was one of the main keys, I wasn’t getting better as a football player. It was a different defense, a defense I wasn’t used to, and all the stuff I learned from the Rams, the Cowboys, I thought I was losing that technique in Montreal.”
Despite Sam’s perception that his sexuality was at least partially the reason why he hasn’t stuck in the NFL, he says he has no regrets about his decision to come out. He also claims he is training for a comeback in the NFL and believes he has the talent to make an NFL roster next year.
“I am a football player, a damn good one too, and I want to prove myself within this league,” Sam said. “I know that I can do this, and I can play in this league.”
Since leaving the Allouettes, Sam has returned to Missouri to pursue a master’s degree.
If Sam is able to somehow make it back to the league and actually secure a roster spot next season, it would make for a great (and historic) comeback story. However, it doesn’t seem all that likely considering he already had two opportunities in the NFL and for whatever reason, it hasn’t worked out. That being said, Tim Tebow almost made the Eagles this season, so I guess anything is possible.