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Michael Sam Signs With Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes

Sam

Michael Sam is finally getting his shot on the gridiron, albeit now in Canada:

The Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League announced Friday that they have signed Sam to a two-year deal. Sam spent parts of last season with the St. Louis Rams and Dallas Cowboys, but did not play a regular-season snap for either team.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports that Sam signed a one-year deal with a team option year, according to Sam's agent, Joe Barkett. Sam became the first openly gay player in NFL history when he was selected by St. Louis in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

"With the signing of Michael Sam, we have become a better organization today," said Alouettes' general manager Jim Popp. "Not only have we added an outstanding football player, we have added even a better person that brings dignity, character, and heart to our team."

Sam will be introduced at a news conference in Montreal on Tuesday, according to the CBC:

Alouettes"Congratulations to the Montreal Alouettes on the signing of Michael Sam," CFL commissioner Jeffrey Orridge said in a statement released by the league. "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. Welcome to Montreal, Michael!"


College Running Back Arrested for Assaulting Gay Couple He Saw Kiss on the Street: VIDEO

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Steward Butler, a running back for the Marshall University football team in Huntington, West Virginia, has been arrested and charged with battery after beating a gay couple he saw kiss on the street, WSAZ reports:

Investigators said the couple involved, Zackery Johnson and his partner, Casey Williams, were walking down the street, when Butler spotted them embracing and kissing and began yelling slurs and punched them.

Huntington Police said Butler was, at first, in a car with two other Marshall football players.

"He was traveling in the vehicle, he saw this, saw these two individuals walking, saw them give each other a kiss. He had the driver stop the car, he gets out, confronts him and said some choice, some bad choice words," HPD Detective Chris Sperry said. The couple tells us they were in town visiting friends, and were headed to their hotel after dinner and a few bars.

Investigators said after Butler punched the two men, in an apparent hate crime, the other two Marshall players told him to stop and leave.

Huntington Police said Butler claimed the attack was out of self-defense and that none of the men in the confrontation knew each other.

Watch WSAZ's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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USC's Athletic Director Pat Haden Cancels Indiana CFP Trip: 'I am the Proud Father of a Gay Son'

Haden

USC Athletic Director Pat Haden says he won't join the College Football Playoff committee members in Indianapolis this week because of the anti-gay Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Tweeted Haden: "I am the proud father of a gay son. In his honor, I will not be attending the CFP committee meeting in Indy this week. #EmbraceDiversity"


Michael Sam Says He's 'Confident' He'll Be Playing Football Somewhere This Year: VIDEO

Sam.Michael

Michael Sam says he's confident he'll be playing professional football somewhere this year — whether it's in the NFL or the Canadian Football League.

After a somewhat disappointing performance at the NFL's Veteran Combine on Sunday, Sam was swarmed by the media. 

ESPN reports:  

"As long as I still have that will, as long as I'm still healthy and can play this game, you will continue to see me fighting to get in this league," he said. ... 

"I am very confident that I will be playing football this year somewhere," Sam said. "So we'll leave that at that."

Sam was asked to clarify if the CFL was still an option. "If that's an opportunity, then I will take it," he said.

Cyd Zeigler at OutSports reports that no one asked Sam about being gay — which Zeigler says is a sign of progress. One reporter did ask about Sam's appearance on Dancing with the Stars — to which Sam replied, "Next question."

Sam's time in the 40-yard dash on Sunday was less-than-stellar, at 5.07 seconds, but he's never been known for his speed. 

Sam became the first openly gay player to appear in an NFL game last year, after he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams and before being cut. Sam later joined the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad before being cut again. 

Some have speculated that Sam — the former SEC co-defensive player of the year — isn't on an NFL team because he's gay. 

Hopefully, an NFL team will sign him again and give him another chance to prove himself in the preseason. 

But if not, or if he gets cut again, it sounds like Sam will be playing in the CFL. And if he becomes a star north of the border, questions about why he's not on an NFL team will become even more difficult for coaches and general managers to answer.  

Watch ESPN's report, AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "Michael Sam Says He's 'Confident' He'll Be Playing Football Somewhere This Year: VIDEO" »


Michael Sam: I Put My Hand Above Vito's Butt 'and the Rest Was History' — VIDEO

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NFL free agent and Dancing with the Stars contestant Michael Sam gave a fascinating and forthcoming talk last week at Quinnipiac University about a variety of topics, including his fiancé Vito Cammisano, speaking about how the couple met:

SamSam told the crowd (7:30 in clip AFTER THE JUMP) that he met Vito at a Playboy bunny party at the University of Missouri and their first meeting was not the greatest. Sam said that at the party he saw two students who were "hammered" on the patio of the house where the party was at and went to see if they were okay. The first one he spoke to was Vito, who snapped at him, and said, "Get the ef away from me....do you know who I am?"

Sam thought angrily to himself, "I don't care who the hell you are."

Sam didn't talk to Vito for two years after the exchange, and actively disliked him. But one night at a bar when friends were encouraging them to get along, Sam says he placed his hand above Vito's butt "and after that...the rest is history."

They later broke up, Vito graduated, and they got back together after Sam found himself comfortable to come out, and Vito helped get him there.

Sam added that he is now sometimes criticized for dating a white guy:

“My fiance gave me the strength [to come out]. The challenge I get now is, why are you not dating a gay black guy? Why are you dating a white guy? Why would I do that? Why would I leave someone I fell in love with and have been through so many challenges with.”

Sam also spoke about stereotypes, coming out, and other gay players in the NFL:

"I'm not the only in the NFL that is gay. I'm just the only one that is out."

He talked about Dancing with the Stars and the upcoming Veteran Combine:

“I thought I did enough in the preseason (last season), but apparently it wasn’t enough. I just have to work harder. I’m certain, whatever league I’m playing in, that I’m going to be playing football somewhere next year...I’ve fought adversity all my life. It helped me become me.”

Watch the full talk, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Michael Sam: I Put My Hand Above Vito's Butt 'and the Rest Was History' — VIDEO" »


NFL Free Agent Michael Sam Invited to Veteran Combine, Says He's 'Getting the Hang' of Dancing: VIDEO

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NFL free agent defensive end Michael Sam has been invited to the first-ever veteran combine, ESPN reports:

The veteran combine will be held March 22 in Tempe, Arizona, less than a week after Sam is set to start competing on the latest season of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," which starts March 16.

Sam was chosen last year in the seventh round of the draft by the St. Louis Rams but the team released him before the season began. He was later signed to the Dallas Cowboys practice squad but then waived.

The Veteran Combine is similar to the one held for potential draftees but it is for current NFL free agents like Sam.

Following the announcement this week that Sam would compete on Dancing With The Stars, he released a statement on Twitter:

Very excited to be a part of @DancingABC. Football remains my unquestioned number 1 priority, however, while I continue to train and stay ready, I am ecstatic to participate in a fun, athletic competition like so many players before me have done. Filming this offseason is very flexible and allows me to be part of the veterans combine 3/22 if accepted or any other workouts. I’m looking forward to getting started with @PetaMurgatroyd and winning! Thanks for the support! #TeamSambatroyd

Paparazzi stationed outside Dancing With The Stars rehearsals caught up with Sam this week as he arrived to rehearsals with fiancé Vito Cammisano in tow, and asked him which was tougher, dancing or the combine.

"Both," he replied.

They also asked if he has nailed his first dance yet:

"I think it's a secret right now. It's different from football. Peta's (Murgatroyd, his partner) doing a great job. She's bearing with me. It's different than football, clearly. But I'm getting the hang of it. It's fun. Great workout."

And what kind of advice he had for gay kids nervous to come out.

"Be on your truth. On your truth."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "NFL Free Agent Michael Sam Invited to Veteran Combine, Says He's 'Getting the Hang' of Dancing: VIDEO" »


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