Michael Sam speaks to father: The two Sams apparently hadn't talked since February '14.

Michael Sam Says He Just Spoke to His Father for the First Time Since the Month He Came Out

Michael Sam Says He Just Spoke to His Father for the First Time Since the Month He Came Out

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Aug. 20 2015 5:41 PM

Michael Sam Says He Just Spoke to His Father for the First Time Since the Month He Came Out

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Michael Sam during a CFL game in Ottawa on Aug. 7.

Christinne Muschi/Reuters

Last Friday, Michael Sam quit the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouttes, announcing that he planned to "step away from the game" to deal with his mental health. (He said that he hoped "to be back on the field soon.") Thursday, he sent a tweet that seemed to imply some progress on that front:

February 2014 was the month that Michael Sam came out publicly, after which his father Michael Sam Sr. told the New York Times that he (Sam Sr.) was "a man-and-a-woman type of guy" who said he wouldn't want his grandchildren "raised in that kind of environment," i.e. a family with two gay parents.

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Last November, BuzzFeed's Joel Anderson wrote a piece about the elder Sam and the difficult relationship between the two. Michael Sam Sr. was divorced from his son's mother JoAnn before Sam Jr. was born—but remarried her later and is now separated from her again—and admits that he failed to adequately support the troubled family because he was "running around and spending money and shooting dice." Wrote Anderson, whose piece was published soon after Sam Jr. had been cut from the Cowboys: "Disappointment and loss are feelings Michael Sr. knows well, of course, so the two Michaels have more in common now than they may have ever had. And yet Michael Jr. doesn’t come to his father — or anyone in his family — for comfort. He keeps his distance."

Correction, Aug. 20, 2015: This post's photo caption initially misspelled Ottawa.