Announced Wednesday, Michael Sam will be the subject of a new documentary series produced by the same filmmaker and network responsible for the Lindsay Lohan reality series. The new project will air on OWN a.k.a. the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Sam, who is the first openly gay player drafted into the National Football League, will be followed by cameras as he opens his life to the American people and prepares to enter professional football to begin his journey with the St. Louis Rams.
OWN is a rather interesting choice to tell Sam’s story, but apparently filmmaker Amy Rice gained his trust and Sam feels comfortable being on Oprah’s network rather than having ESPN or NFL Network follow him.
Winfrey said in a 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.”
Sam said, “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. 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.”
Earlier this month, we told you that Sam originally rejected both ESPN and NFLN’s overtures to have a camera on-site as he awaited being drafted. However, he changed his mind allowing an ESPN camera to document the moment that has been seen around the world.
There’s no word as to when the Sam series would air, but one has to think that OWN would want it to premiere sometime in late summer to document his training camp experiences and to see if he actually makes the Rams’ squad. Think of it as OWN’s version of Hard Knocks, but focusing on one player.
There’s no title for the program as of yet. Expect heavy promotion on OWN for the new show.