The cameras have been focused on new St. Louis Rams defensive stud Michael Sam since he came out as gay following the 2013 college football season. He has been in the spotlight because he is the first openly-gay player to be drafted into the NFL, possibly paving the way for others.
Now that he has been exposed to the entire world and being the most influential seventh-round pick in the NFL draft has had its perks. Although Sam doesn’t necessarily like the extra attention, he has given in to one of the more interesting offers he’s received since coming out: to have a documentary made about his journey to the NFL by Oprah Winfrey.
While there is no guarantee that he makes the Rams’ roster this offseason, Oprah’s TV network plans on following the young defensive star the entire way throughout his journey that will air on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Looking forward to sharing my life and journey on @OWNTV with friends, family , and my faithful supporters
— Michael Sam (@MichaelSamNFL) May 14, 2014
Many believe that his coming out scared some teams away because they wouldn’t know how to handle an openly-gay player in the locker room.
Sam had this to say about wearing the No. 96 and the possibility of making the team:
“I’m determined to be great. I’m determined to make this team. I have every confidence in myself that I’ll make this team. When I do make it and put my pads on, if someone wants to say something, you will see number 96 running down that field and making big plays for his team.”
Oprah released a statement about the upcoming documentary that is sure to inspire millions of supporters:
“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…. 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.”
Although the coverage shouldn’t be a big deal because acting different for a gay athlete seems almost primitive these days, it’s great for both Oprah and Sam.
They will both benefit from having one of the most popular stories in the NFL told.
Connor Muldowney is the Content Associate for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.