As public interest in openly gay University of Missouri football alum and St. Louis Rams draft pick Michael Sam increased last week, the Oprah Winfrey Network revealed that it was working on a docu-series following his “private journey” to become a member of the team. However, on Friday, OWN president Erik Logan announced that “After careful consideration and discussion with the St. Louis Rams, ‘The Untitled Michael Sam Project’ has been postponed, allowing Michael the best opportunity to achieve his dream of making the team.”
Apparently, Logan, along with Sam’s agent, Cameron Weiss, sat down with the Rams this week and decided that, in light of Sam’s unprecedented role in the NFL, it’s important to allow him to focus on his his game right now. The Associated Press notes that being the subject of a TV show could have been a “major distraction” for the 24-year-old (not to mention the other players).
But OWN’s audience should get a chance to learn more about Sam later on. “Everybody involved remains committed to this project and understands its historical importance as well as its positive message,” said Weiss. So expect the network to follow through on the series if and when Sam joins the Rams. Or doesn’t. We’re resigned to crying in front of our televisions either way.