Michael Sam has never played in a regular season NFL or CFL game. He has played in a few preseason games and been on a practice squad.
Why would he be overwhelmed or need a break? But, that is what the Montreal Alouettes GM Jim Popp thinks is the reason he bailed on the team a few weeks ago. Here is what he had to say via The Guardian.
Popp believes Sam is tired. After more than a year of being the somewhat reluctant face of gay athletes, making international headlines, being besieged for photos and interviews, getting a tepid welcome from the NFL and being cut twice, Sam has endured more than he ever expected. Everything became too much and he simply had to get away.
“I think he needed a break,” Popp said. “That’s my personal belief. I think it was just overwhelming to some degree, and he needs to clear his mind, clear his head. Do I think he wants to play? Do I think he wants to be on the field? Do I think he wants to be Michael Sam the football player? I, 100%, believe that. Yes.”
Most of the attention Sam received he brought onto himself. There were ways he could have proudly announced he was gay, but not make it the center point of everything in his professional life. If he can’t handle the CFL spotlight, how is he going to handle the NFL?