The Oprah Winfrey Network has decided to postpone its plans to chronicle Michael Sam’s journey to the NFL with a reality series. Sam is the first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team when the St. Louis Rams picked him last week.
OWN announced plans for The Untitled Michael Sam Project on Thursday, a series that surprised many, as Sam had hoped to be seen only as a football player, just like any other. Then, an anonymous Rams player said that the show would be a distraction. The Rams coaching staff and owners must have agreed with that and, after speaking with the team, OWN will postpone the series.
One of the issues at the heart of this situation is that Sam hasn’t made the team yet. He was drafted with the 249th pick.
— OprahWinfrey Network (@OWNTV) May 14, 2014
“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,” OWN President Erik Logan said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly. “OWN is about elevating and empowering people to achieve their best. It’s clear that we, along with the world, recognize the important opportunity that Michael now has in this moment. We will continue to support him in his journey to earn a spot playing for the Rams.”
Cameron Weiss, Sam’s rep, agreed with the Rams and OWN to delay the show so Sam can focus on the game and won’t be a distraction to the rest of the team.
Craig Piligian and Amy Rice, who worked on the Lindsay Lohan OWN series, had signed on to produce the series.
image via Twitter from OWN