Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Montreal Alouettes Sign Openly Gay Defensive End Michael Sam

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Montreal Alouettes Sign Openly Gay Defensive End Michael Sam

Article excerpt

Montreal Alouettes sign Michael Sam

--

The Montreal Alouettes signed Michael Sam because they believe he can be a star rush end in the Canadian Football League. His sexuality is a non-issue, as far as general manager Jim Popp is concerned.

"Michael Sam is a very good football player, and that's the reason we signed him," Popp said of Sam, who is openly gay. "He's an outstanding pass-rusher."

Sam, a free-agent, agreed to a two-year deal. The 25-year-old is to be introduced at a news conference in Montreal on Tuesday and report to training camp the following day.

"I am very excited and proud to join the Montreal Alouettes and want to thank team owner Robert Wetenhall, general manager Jim Popp and head coach Tom Higgins for this opportunity," Sam said Friday in a statement. "I cannot wait to put on the pads, get back on the field and work hard each and every day with my teammates to bring a Grey Cup to the great fans here in Montreal."

The Galveston, Texas, native became a sensation when he came out before last year's NFL draft, and his NFL jerseys were an instant best-seller.

When he was picked in the seventh round by St. Louis, President Barack Obama publicly congratulated Sam and the Rams, who made him the first openly gay player to be drafted for their courage.

CFL commissioner Jeffrey Orridge did the same on Friday.

"Congratulations to the Montreal Alouettes on the signing of Michael Sam," Orridge said in a statement. "Our players come to us from different places, different walks of life and ultimately they take different paths to get to our fields.

"Today is another indication of how open and progressive the CFL is -- consistent with our rich and storied history of great football tradition."

"Michael Sam is a football player that obviously Jim Popp believes can help their team," added B.C. Lions general manager Wally Buono. "He's no different than any other player that we sign that has U. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.