Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week, we told you that the Oprah Winfrey Network (a.k.a. “OWN”) was set to produce a reality series on St. Louis Rams 7th round draft pick Michael Sam. There were a couple of problems. First, Sam and OWN made an agreement for the show before the NFL Draft, but did not inform the league nor any potentially interested teams fearing he might not get picked. Both the NFL and the Rams have said they had no prior knowledge of the project until it was announced this week.

Sam met with team officials on Friday and it was determined that the project would not continue as planned.

In a statement, OWN President Erik Logan said, “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 dreams of making the team. OWN is about elevating and empowering people to achieve their best. It’s clear that we, along with the world, recognize the opportunity that Michael has in this moment. We will continue to support him in his journey to earn a spot playing for the Rams.”

Sam’s agent, Cameron Weiss added, “After (Friday’s) meeting with the Rams, we felt it is best to postpone the project. This will allow for Michael to have total focus on football, and will ensure no distractions to his teammates. Everybody involved remains committed to this project and understands its historical importance as well as its positive message.” reported that the series would have followed Sam’s personal life = and would have been extended to six to eight shows.

It’s for the best that the reality series has been canceled. While it may have sent a positive message about Sam’s journey to become the first openly gay man to make the NFL, the distraction for the team would have added to an already bright spotlight on the Rams.

For now, Sam will be insulated from the spotlight and away from OWN cameras and that is a good thing for the man who says he wants to be treated as one of the guys.


About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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