Michael Sam, the openly gay University of Missouri football player who was recently drafted into the NFL by the St. Louis Rams, will soon have his own documentary series on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.
The still-untitled documentary special promises to spotlight the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year during his “historic journey as he prepares to enter the biggest professional sports league in America.” Cameras will follow Sam as he works to earn his spot on the St. Louis Rams while dealing with the intense scrutiny from the media — and from others in his personal and professional life — that comes with being the first openly gay player in the NFL.
“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,” said Oprah Winfrey. “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 he hoped the documentary would help others in similar situations.
“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,” said Sam. “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.”
The special is produced with OWN by Pilgrim Studios and is exec produced by Craig Piligian, Nicholas Caprio and Johnny Gould. Amy Rice, Ralph Wikke and Mitch Rosa are co-executive producers. Cameron Weiss, Joe Barkett and Howard Bragman are producers.