Openly gay American football player Michael Sam has resumed his National Football League (NFL) career after he was signed by the Dallas Cowboys for the team’s practice squad.
Sam, 24, made history when he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in May for a chance to join the team. On Saturday, it was announced that the athlete had disappointingly failed to make the final cut and was let go.
It appeared that the athlete was set to fall out of the NFL, but he was given a lifeline by the Cowboys on Wednesday when he was asked to join the team’s 10-man practice squad.
“It was a little longer than I expected,” Sam told ESPN, “But you know what, I’m here now, and that’s all that matters.”
The Texas-born player added: “It feels good to be a Cowboy. It feels great.”
While he’s only joined the practice team, the signing keeps him in the NFL and puts him back on the path to become the first openly gay man to play in an NFL season game.
Sam, who completed university last year, was one of the most sought after college players by the traditionally macho NFL. After he came out as gay in February, he received praise from the likes of President Obama and became a role model for LGBT youth.