Oprah Winfrey’s OWN will produce a documentary on the NFL’s first openly gay player, Michael Sam.
Sam, who was just drafted this past week by the St. Louis Rams, came out several months ago and has been the center of attention in the NFL draft.
But the controversy did not stop there because Sam caused more of a stir when he kissed his boyfriend after receiving the news he had been drafted by the RAMs on ESPN.
The series is said to be more focused on Sam getting on the roster for Rams. Hmmm…I am not sure if that will be a ratings win if other areas of Sams’ personal life or struggles won’t be on display.
And I am not just referring to him being gay. But what about his family or his relationship? But knowing Oprah, the audience will definitely get a quality piece that gives the whole story. We hope.
According to NFL.com:
“We are honored that Michael is trusting us with his private journey in this moment that has not only made history, but will shape it forever,” Winfrey said in a prepared statement. “I am proud of the focus on authentic storytelling in our new documentary series format. The next real-life story we follow in ‘The Untitled Michael Sam Project’ promises to spark valuable, important discussion on life in America today. Acceptance and illumination start here.”
The release from OWN did not indicate when the series would launch. Sam, for his part, said his focus will remain on football and making the Rams roster. That won’t be easy, with two of the NFL’s better defensive ends — Robert Quinn and Chris Long — already in place at his position.
“Like every player out there working to make a team right now, my focus is on playing football to the very best of my ability,” Sam said. “I am determined. And if seeing my story helps somebody else accept who they are and to go for their dreams too, that’s great. I am thankful to Oprah for her support and excited to work together.”
Sam told the Missouri football team he is gay last August during a team-building exercise at fall camp, but the news did not become public until Sam announced it in the weeks between his appearance at the Reese’s Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine in February. Speculation on his draft status ranged from the fourth round to undrafted, but he ultimately became the league’s first openly gay draftee with seven picks left.
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