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St. Louis Rams cut Michael Sam, first openly gay NFL player

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(Reuters) – Defensive end Michael Sam’s dream of becoming the first openly gay player in the National Football League (NFL) was put on hold on Saturday when he failed to make the St. Louis Rams’ 53-man roster for the 2014 regular season.

The 24-year-old, a standout with the University of Missouri who had announced he was gay in February, was one of 22 players waived in the final cuts by the Rams to reach the roster limit before Saturday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline.

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Sam, who became the first openly gay player to be selected in an NFL Draft when he was taken in the seventh round by the Rams in May, had said he would be watching the Missouri Tigers take on South Dakota State in Columbia, Missouri when the final roster moves were made.

As he is now on waivers, he can be claimed by any team but could join the Rams as part of a 10-player practice squad if he clears waivers.

“All my focus has been on playing and trying to make the team,” Sam had told reporters when the Rams introduced their draft selections three months ago.

“I’m determined to be great. I’m determined to make this team. I have every confidence in myself that I’ll make this team.”

Sam, the co-defensive player of the year in the Southeastern Conference, had been vying with undrafted Ethan Westbrooks during the pre-season for the last of nine defensive line spots with the Rams.

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Westbrooks, who made the roster on Saturday, ended up with 12 tackles and two sacks in four preseason games while Sam had 11 tackles and a team-leading three sacks.

“I believe (Sam) can play in this league, yes. As can some of the other guys on this team that had good preseasons,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said after his team ended the preseason with a 14-13 loss to the Dolphins in Miami.

Fisher was scheduled to hold a news conference later on Saturday to discuss the team’s final roster moves.

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St. Louis went into the preseason training camp with eight defensive linemen already inked in on the roster: Robert Quinn, Chris Long, Michael Brockers, Kendall Langford, William Hayes, Eugene Sims, Alex Carrington and first-round pick Aaron Donald.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Gene Cherry)

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WATCH: Trump looks on as Turkey’s Erdo?an denies the Armenian Genocide ever occurred

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President Donald Trump looked on as Turkish President Recep Erdo?an denied the Armenian Genocide during a joint press conference at the White House.

Trump allowed Erdo?an's visit despite Turkey's ethnic cleansing of America's Kurdish allies in northern Syria.

Onlookers were shocked that Erdo?an did this in front of the president and multiple Republican senators.

From the White House, Erdogan is ranting about the Armenian Genocide, saying it didn’t happen and that he wants to set up a “history commission.”

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‘The country got an education’: Nicolle Wallace explains why impeachment could move public opinion

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MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace offered her analysis after the day of televised hearings in the impeachment inquiry.

Wallace, who served as White House communications director under President George W. Bush, drew upon her experience as a top Republican strategist.

"Listen, I haven’t spent a nanosecond in a courtroom, but I’ve spent my career in the court of public opinion. And if you look at what the Democrats have set out to do and you look at why this has swung public opinion in a way the Mueller probe never did is that they have laid brick on top of brick on top of brick," Wallace explained.

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Room erupts in laughter as Democrat Peter Welch destroys Jim Jordan during impeachment hearing

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There was a moment of levity four-hours into the first televised hearing in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the bombastic Freedom Caucus member who was added to the committee at the last moment by Republicans, had argued that the White House whistleblower started the scandal.

"There’s one witness, one witness that they won’t bring in front of us, they won’t bring in front of the American people, and that’s the guy who started it all, the whistleblower," Jordan argued.

Unfortunately for the wrestling coach turned politician, Jordan was followed by Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT).

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