OWN Orders Doc Series on Footballer Michael Sam

OWN, Michael Sam Recover From a
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

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.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 5

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Tony Ross says:

    Maybe now,we’ll know something about his BLACK FAMILY,or weather he has any BLACK FRIENDS,because last week,with the press and all, on tv,there were on BLACK people in the room,but Michael SAM.

  2. Rick Smith says:

    It’s time for Michael Sam to be guided correctly by his agent & the St. Louis Rams staff and directed to concentrate on improving his football skills so he may become a viable member of the team and not end up simply as the the first openly gay man drafted in the NFL.

    Two very important things that everyone must remember about Michael Sam . 1, Sam did the actual work to become good enough to be drafted. 2, Without the help of the help of the straight allies, Sam’s dreams of a NFL career would have ended the day he came out.

    A partial list of outspoken allies include, but certainly isn’t limited to, some of the following athletes. NFL players Brendon Ayanbadejo, Chris Kluwe, Scott Fujita, Michael Irvin, Donte Stallworth, Michael Strahan. NFL players Sean Avery, Henrik Lundqvist, Claude Giroux,. Rugby players Ben Cohen, David Pocock. NBA players Charles Barkley, Steve Nash, John Salley, Manu Ginobili. MLB player Justin Verlander. Boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr., Sergio Martinez. Soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo. College wrestler Hudson Taylor. Professional Wrestlers Stone Cold Steve Austin, John Cena, Mick Foley.

  3. Leslie Owen says:

    I agree – please stay focused on football. Yes, he is gay – but as he has requested – let him be known as a football player 1st. he is so talented!!! Most American people are not quite ready for PDA’s – some are still becoming accustomed to the lifestyle. Give him a fighting chance, please…..and keep the LG group away from this documentary….. he doesn’t need to be their poster child.

    • Becks says:

      He is not that great on the football field, he drafted just a few picks before they turned off the lights.

  4. David Aguiar says:

    Please stay focused on Football! That is what will make you great, gay is only a bonus!

More TV News from Variety