In advance of the regular season, which kicks off next week, each NFL team had until 4 p.m. today to cut its roster down to a maximum of 53 players. Sam was among the final players cut from the Rams just before today’s deadline.
But the game isn’t over for Sam, who may now be picked up by any of the league’s 31 other teams. The St. Louis Rams also have the option of inviting Sam to join the team’s practice squad.
“This is not the last of Michael Sam,” said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “America is ready for its first openly gay NFL player, and Sam’s strong preseason performance leaves us confident that he’ll be wearing an NFL jersey come the regular season kickoff.”
During the pre-season, Sam performed strongly with an impressive number of tackles. At Thursday’s game against the Miami Dolphins, Sam led the team with six tackles.
Sam came out as gay in February, just after graduating from the University of Missouri. His coming out sparked a national conversation about equality in sports. He was chosen by the Rams in the seventh round of the NFL draft in May. He was awarded the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage from ESPN in July.