It was announced on Wednesday that the Oprah Winfrey Network had purchased the rights to a documentary series about St. Louis Rams seventh-round pick Michael Sam. It will be a series following Sam’s journey in trying to be the first openly gay active NFL player. The question that must be asked about this however is whether or not it was actually a good idea for Sam to agree to this series right now.
There are pros and cons to every decision out there. Sam has made it clear in the past that he wants people to focus on his football ability. However, here is a series that is going to focus more on his journey from the draft and being selected by the Rams through trying to make the team. It is a series that needs to be done but is during this preseason the time to do it though?
The focus for Sam for the next few months should be working on finding a way to make the 53-man roster for St. Louis. After that happens, then a series should be put together where cameras can follow Sam through his first season as a pro football player. There is nothing wrong with highlighting something like a gay athlete trying to make it in this day and age.
Opinions change every day on the topic and maybe in 15 or 20 years, people feel differently about openly gay athletes in sports. Right now though, the opinions are not all positive. Also, how do the Rams feel about this? They probably had no idea that Sam was possibly involved in a project like this.
The plan for this series is for six to eight segments according to various reports. It will be worth watching one way or another but the distractions that this series could cause during training camp outweigh the positives at this point in time. St. Louis is in a very tough NFC West where the other three teams ahead of them could all make it to the playoffs.
The Rams have to be working on getting better and taking a step forward themselves. Sam was drafted to help St. Louis do that hopefully and he has to make the team first to make that happen. At that point is when OWN should begin working on this series and not before then.