Michael Sam has departed from the Montreal Alouettes training camp for unspecified personal reasons.
The Canadian Football League (CFL) team said Sam had been given special permission to return home to Texas, revealing the news in a public statement that seems to pose more questions than it answers:
“The Montreal Alouettes organization would like to clarify the situation surrounding international defensive end Michael Sam. Friday morning, Michael asked the team for special permission to leave training camp and return home for personal reasons.
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."
Sam's departure comes just three weeks after he became the first openly gay player to sign with the CFL. It follows his brief, chequered history with the NFL: Sam was selected in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams, but was later cut by the Rams and from the Dallas Cowboys' practice roster.
The 25-year-old is engaged to fiancé Vito Cammisano (pictured below), after proposing in Rome in January
as the pair enjoyed a holiday around Europe. The pair have been silent on social media for the past week.