The NFL will have to wait for its first openly gay football player to compete in a regular season game, as Michael Sam did not make the St. Louis Rams’ final 53-man roster. Cuts had to be made by 4 p.m. ET., and Sam was one of them.
No history yet…Rams released DE Michael Sam. Prime practice-squad candidate.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 30, 2014
Here’s the official announcement from the Rams’ website:
In order to reach the 53-man roster limit mandated by the NFL, the St. Louis Rams announced the following roster moves.
The team waived WR Emory Blake, G Travis Bond, DE Kourtnei Brown, S Christian Bryant, DT Matt Conrath, S Avery Cunningham, WR Austin Franklin, QB Garrett Gilbert, DT Deantre Harlan, LB Aaron Hill, T Sean Hooey, DB Greg Reid, LB Etienne Sabino, DE Michael Sam, TE Brad Smelley, LB Phillip Steward, T Mitchell Van Dyk, WR Justin Veltung, OL Brandon Washington, LB Lawrence Wilson and CB Darren Woodard.
That means the Rams kept nine defensive ends on the roster, and as expected, Ethan Westbrooks was one of them.
This morning, Sam was still with the Rams after the team cut down to 58 players, and he appeared to be one of the final decisions before the afternoon deadline. But the rookie DE wasn’t waiting by the phone to find out his fate — he was at his alma mater of Missouri to watch the Tigers open the college football season against South Dakota State.
He was literally walking onto the field in Missouri when the decision was announced.
Of course, one day, it won’t be news when a gay person who plays football makes, or does not make, a football team — but it is today.