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Michael Sam suspended by CFL's Alouettes

By Alex Butler
St. Louis Rams Michael Sam stands for the National Anthem before a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis on August 8, 2014. UPI/Bill Greenblatt | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/422bafe089ae1c0003f4d945fa720a31/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
St. Louis Rams Michael Sam stands for the National Anthem before a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis on August 8, 2014. UPI/Bill Greenblatt | License Photo

MONTREAL, June 15 (UPI) -- After mysteriously leaving the Montreal Alouettes, the first openly gay player to be drafted into the NFL was suspended by the team Monday.

Michael Sam, 25, was drafted in the seventh round with the No. 249 pick overall in the 2014 draft by the St. Louis Rams. The Missouri product was cut by the Rams and joined the Dallas Cowboys practice team for a month before signing with the CFL last month.

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Sam was placed on the suspended list three days after leaving the Alouettes' training camp for personal reasons. The CFL's official Twitter account tweeted Monday morning that Sam had been placed on the list.

"The Montreal Alouettes organization would like to clarify the situation surrounding international defensive end Michael Sam," the Alouettes said in a statement. "Friday morning, Michael asked the team for special permission to leave training camp and return home for personal reasons."

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"Out of respect for Michael Sam, the nature of this decision will remain confidential. The Montreal Alouettes fully respect Michael Sam's decision and we rally around him to offer all the support needed. The team has left the door open and Michael is welcome to come back whenever he feels ready."

"The organization will have no further comment on this matter at this time."

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Alouettes general manger Jim Popp told the Montreal Gazette that the "door was open" for Sam to return "hopefully soon."

"All I know is I heard somebody made a comment about him, about how he wasn't very good and wasn't having a very good camp," a source told the Gazette. "He took it personally and was pouting in his room," the source said. "It's very strange. I have no idea what's going on. He might have a personal issue."

The move to place Sam on the suspended list allows the Alouettes to retain Sam while opening up a roster spot.

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Sam and fiancé Vito Cammisano were engaged in January in Rome.

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