The Real Reason Michael Sam Quit Football

Michael Sam Montreal Alouettes
Ottawa Redblacks' quarterback Henry Burris (L) throws under pressure from Montreal Alouettes' Michael Sam (R) during the first half of their CFL football game in Ottawa, August 7, 2015. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

It's been an interesting day for high-profile athletes quitting the game of football. First, Cordell Broadus, the famous son of Snoop Dogg, announced that he would be giving up the game he loves at UCLA to pursue his interest in film. Later, the NFL's first openly gay player, Michael Sam, announced he too would be quitting the game citing "mental health" as his reason.

Sam played for the St. Louis Rams and the Dallas Cowboys for about a minute last season, but it was his sting with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League that had him garnering headlines for the past couple months.

Sam first thanked the Alouettes for the opportunity to play the sport he loved and vowed he would give his all on the field for them this season. Then he left the team for personal reason on June 12th, missing the next 18 days.

"I was always coming back," Sam told the Associated Press at the time. "I had to deal with personal matters when I was home. That's all taken care of, so now I'm back."

It's unclear what the "personal reasons" were that allowed Sam to get special permission to leave the team were, but some speculate that it was an issue regarding his boyfriend/Fiance Vito Cammisano and there reported split on June 30th.

Sam came back to the Alouettes, but did not play a single down in the team's first six games of the season. Sam's debut came last Friday night and he was atrocious in his first meaningful game since his days at Missouri University.

Sam did not make a single tackle in 12 plays on the field, and was fooled badly by a play-action pass that resulted in a Ottawa touchdown and ultimately a 26-23 Alouettes loss.

Sam announced his departure from the team via Twitter on Friday, and cited "mental health," as his reason for leaving the game. Many believe that Sam is emotionally lost and needs to find himself, whereas the Montreal Gazette is reporting that Sam was not wanted by his teammates and could have led to his departure.

The Gazette was quoted as saying that Sam, "walked out on his teammates," when he left the team on June 12th and that those same teammates were not happy with Sam when he returned.

"Privately, more and more players are criticizing the preferential treatment he has received," Gazette writer Herb Zurkowsky wrote. "They see Sam as an American prima donna. The organization has completely mishandled the scenario and Sam has become a distraction."

Sam will return to Texas where his family as from and where he lives, to put his career on hold. It's unknown if his career as a football player is done, but likely, this concludes his chances of playing again in the NFL. We wish Sam the best of luck in his future endeavors.

Sam's announcement:

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Michael Duarte

Michael J. Duarte is a Los Angeles based writer. Born and raised in the City of Angels, Michael did his undergraduate work at the University of California Santa Barbara and a graduate program at the University of Southern California. Michael was awarded the Paul Lazarus Screenwriting Scholarship Award in 2004 and the Corwin Writing Award for his feature screenplay, "Chasing 4:00" in 2005. In addition to Sports writing, Michael is an avid marathon runner and fan of the Magic Bullet blender.