Michael Sam, the first openly gay
player to be drafted into the National Football League (NFL), on
Friday said that he was taking a break from football.
The 25-year-old Sam began the season
with the Canadian Football League's (CFL) Montreal Alouettes.
In a series of tweets, Sam cited a
tumultuous year in announcing his decision.
“The last 12 months have been very
difficult for me, to the point where I became concerned with my
mental health. Because of this I am going to step away from the game
at this time. I thank the Alouettes for this opportunity and hope to
be back on the field soon. Thank you for your understanding and
support,” he messaged.
Appearing on ESPN, Cyd Zeigler of
Outsports.com explained that becoming a trailblazer had taken its
toll on Sam.
“Over the last few months, Michael's
gone through a lot of personal issues, ending an engagement to his
fiance and having to leave the Alouettes previously to deal with some
personal issues back home. I just think Michael stresses a lot. And
he talked about mental health in his tweet today. And I think we
need to take that seriously,” he