Michael Sam became the first openly gay pro football player to take part in a CFL regular season game for the Montreal Alouettes in Ottawa on Friday night.

Wearing No. 94, Sam entered the game on defence against the Redblacks with five minutes left in the first quarter. He would go on to appear in several plays, but did not register a tackle or sack.

Ottawa (4-2) rallied late for a 26-23 victory, dropping Montreal to 2-4.

Sam, 25, was drafted by St. Louis in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL draft after a strong collegiate career as a pass rusher at Missouri. While he played in the pre-season last year for the Rams, he was cut before the regular season, also failing to stick with the Dallas Cowboys in a brief stint.


Montreal Alouettes defender Michael Sam, centre, is shown battling with Ottawa's SirVincent Rogers during the first half Friday as teammate Gabriel Knapton, right, looks on. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

The defensive lineman signed a two-year contract with the Alouettes in May, although his debut was delayed after he took personal leave.

It is the latest milestone involving gay men and pro team sports.

Jason Collins in 2014 became the first openly gay NBA player, a year after Robbie Rogers became the first in Major League Soccer. In June, Major League Baseball confirmed minor leaguer Sean Conroy had become the first openly gay active professional baseball player.

All pro football players who have come out as gay previously have done so after their careers ended.

Collins tweeted his support on Friday for Sam, while referring to the San Francisco 49ers, who cut defensive lineman Aldon Smith on Friday after the troubled player's latest arrest.