Gay football star Michael Sam has surprised his supporters by mysteriously leaving his new team’s training camp over the weekend.
Sam, who struggled to secure a home in America’s NFL (National Football League), was recently signed to the Montreal Alouettes in Canada.
On Friday, just three weeks after starting with the Canadian Football League (CFL) team, he asked to return home, for unknown reasons.
“There’s nothing to tell you. He wanted to go home, and that’s what he did. I don’t know why. When a guy wants to go home, they go home. He had some personal things to take care of,” Alouettes General Manager Jim Popp told the Montreal Gazette.
The team says he’s welcome to return but some sources indicate that’s unlikely to happen, possibly putting an end to Sam’s yet-to-take-off football career.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he returns,” said Popp. “I’m surprised he left. I was very surprised. If he doesn’t come back, I would think football’s over for him. He’s the one that has to face that. But I don’t think he doesn’t want to play football. That’s why he came here.”
Questions were asked about Sam’s commitment to the sport when he recently took part in the 20th season of America’s Dancing with the Stars instead of focusing on his career.
Meanwhile, Sam has stayed mum on the issue on social media; so far giving no indication as to why he returned home or what his plans are.
The 25-year-old former college sports star made history when he came out as gay in February 2014, just before the professional football selection season. He was let go from two NFL practice squads before finally signing a two-year contract with the Alouettes last month.
Popp suggested that the strain of being in the media spotlight may have taken its toll on the young man. “I would think anybody that’s 25-years-old that has been going through it for a year and a half, it would have to affect him. I would think so.”