St Louis Rams coach: We weren’t the right place for Michael Sam

PinkNews logo on pink background with rainbow corners.

St Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher has admitted that his team wasn’t the “right place” for out football star Michael Sam.

The rookie defensive player, who made history in May as the first out footballer to be drafted to an NFL team, was let go by the Rams yesterday, as they reduced their roster from 75 to 53 players.

The 24-year-old player had performed well in recent preseason matches, but was released in the team’s final round of cuts, with the final spot in the team’s defensive lineup taken by fellow rookie Ethan Westbrooks.

Explaining the decision to cut Sam, head coach Mr Fisher said: “It’s a football decision.

“He has the ability to play someplace and it’s gotta be the right place. It’s gotta be a [right] fit.”

“I was pulling for him, but it didn’t work out.”

He added: “There was no distraction. Mike fit in very, very well. He was fun to be around. No issues.”

In a brief statement today, Sam said: “I want to thank the entire Rams organization and the city of St. Louis for giving me this tremendous opportunity and allowing me to show I can play at this level.

“I look forward to continuing to build on the progress I made here toward a long and successful career.

“The most worthwhile things in life rarely come easy, this is a lesson I’ve always known. The journey continues.”

Despite the coach previously claiming that Sam was “doing well” with the team, a planned Oprah documentary about his life was shelved to allow him to focus on his playing career, with sources at the time claiming the Rams had vetoed it.

Though he has been cut by the Rams, it is possible Sam will be picked up by one of the other 31 NFL teams – which his contract states must happen within 48 hours – or he may join the Rams’ 10-man practice squad.