On Friday, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) postponed a planned documentary on Michael Sam, the first openly gay NFL player to be drafted.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell and Chris Mortensen reported the news. A crew for the documentary had reportedly been at Sam’s practice on Friday, which was the first that was open to the media.
Good work by Michael Sam’s reps – OWN has announced that documentary plans are now postponed. On Hold.
– Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) May 16, 2014
BREAKING: The Michael Sam documentary series on OWN has been postponed
– darren rovell (@darrenrovell) May 16, 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,” an OWN spokesman said. “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 agent, added, “after today’s meeting with the Rams, we collectively feel it is best to postpone the project.”
“This will allow for Michael to have a total focus on football, and will ensure no distractions to his teammates,” he said. “Everybody involved remains committed to this project and understands its historical importance as well as its positive message.”
The documentary, which was announced on Wednesday, had reportedly been planned before the Draft, but neither Sam nor his camp told the NFL or the Rams.