OTTAWA – Michael Sam made history on Friday night.
Sam became the first active pro football player who is openly gay after making his CFL debut for the Montreal Alouettes in their 26-23 loss to the Ottawa Redblacks.
The 25-year-old defensive end was used sparingly and only took part in a handful of plays, finishing with no tackles.
“I was focusing on my assignments, actually,” Sam said when asked if he was thinking of the significance of the moment prior to kickoff.
“I’m not going to lie, there were some big jitters out there and I was nervous when I first got on the field. I didn’t get any opportunities to make many plays. I had some good pass rushes I thought, but close enough is not a sack.”
The Texan was a former SEC co-defensive player of the year in his senior season at the University of Missouri. Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL draft, but failed to make their lineup. After a short spell with the Dallas Cowboys on their practice roster, he signed a two-year contract with the Alouettes.
Sam missed part of Montreal’s training camp to attend personal matters but returned June 29.
He wore No. 94.