Michael Sam: I know I can play at the highest level, but life isn’t easy
Michael Sam has spoken out after being dropped from the roster of the St Louis Rams.
The defensive player, who made history in May as the first out footballer to be drafted to an NFL team, was let go by the Rams yesterday, as they reduced their roster from 75 to 53 players.
The 24-year-old player had performed well in recent preseason matches, but was released in the final round of cuts, with the final spot in the team’s defensive lineup taken by fellow rookie Ethan Westbrooks.
In a brief statement today, he said: “I want to thank the entire Rams organization and the city of St. Louis for giving me this tremendous opportunity and allowing me to show I can play at this level.
“I look forward to continuing to build on the progress I made here toward a long and successful career.
“The most worthwhile things in life rarely come easy, this is a lesson I’ve always known. The journey continues.
The news likely came as a surprise to Sam, who said earlier this week that he was “very confident” he had performed well enough to end up on the permanent roster.
Despite his coach Jeff Fischer claiming that Sam was “doing well” with the team, a planned Oprah documentary about his life was shelved to allow him to focus on his playing career, with sources at the time claiming the Rams had vetoed it.
Though he has been cut by the Rams, it is possible Sam will be picked up by one of the other 31 NFL teams – which his contract states must happen within 48 hours – or he may join the Rams’ 10-man practice squad.
It was revealed last month that Sam’s no.96 Rams jersey is the sixth most sold across the entire NFL. The jersey will be discontinued if he leaves the team.
One owner of the Rams jersey is One Direction singer Harry Styles,who wore his this week in tribute to Sam as he played a gig in Missouri.