Just 13 weeks after becoming the first openly gay man to be drafted by the NFL, Michael Sam has reportedly been cut by the St. Louis Rams today, and will not play with the team in the upcoming season.
It is widely being reported that Sam lost his spot on the 53-man roster to fellow rookie Ethan Westbrooks, “one of nine defensive linemen the Rams kept.”
According to Outsports, he has 24 hours to be claimed by any of the other 31 teams in the NFL in order to become the first openly gay player drafted any accepted by the NFL. He will likely be picked up by one of the other teams, OS claims, and if he isn’t, “homophobia will be a key reason.”
OS reports on his progress in the league thus far:
Sam played quite well this preseason, in many ways better than the Rams would have predicted given where he was drafted, in part because he lost 13 pounds prior to camp and was quicker. He had 10.5 tackles and three sacks in the preseason, including two sacks of Johnny Manziel. In the preseason finale at Miami, Sam led the team with 5.5 tackles. But he lost out to Westbrooks, who rated higher than him in practice and games, according to most analysts, though Sam closed the gap in the final two preseason games.
Just yesterday, Sam told reporters: “I’m very confident I’ll be playing on a NFL roster this fall. I know I can play in this league.” Here’s hoping he gets the chance!