Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted into the National Football League (NFL), said this week that his football career would be in better shape had he not publicly come out.

“I wanted to come out after I made an NFL roster. It really wasn't supposed to be public,” Sam, 25, said during an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show. “It was supposed to be to the team, as I did at the University of Missouri.”

Sam recently left the CFL's Montreal Alouettes citing “personal reasons.” He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams but cut before the start of last season. He then joined the Cowboys' 10-man practice squad, where he stayed for seven weeks before being let go.

“[My career] would have been better for me if I didn't come out,” Sam said. “I would be on a roster. But, as I said, I have no regrets whatsoever.”

Sam said that he left the Alouettes because “it was … a defense I wasn't used to.”