The docu-series about Michael Sam, the first ever openly gay athlete to be drafted into the NFL, was confirmed by Oprah Winfrey and OWN earlier in the week.
At the time, the athlete and the producers seemed to be excited and there was no open resistance to the show from the NFL.
However, only a day later, the show has been “postponed” indefinitely because of the attention it might bring to his team and the distraction it may prove to Michael’s career.
“After today’s meeting with the Rams, we collectively feel it is best to postpone the project,” Cameron Weiss, Sam’s agent, said in a statement. This will allow for Michael to have a total focus on football, and will ensure no distractions to his teammates. Everybody involved remains committed to this project and understands its historical importance as well as its positive message.”
OWN had met with the Rams as well and ultimately agreed that it would be best to postpone the project “allowing Michael the best opportunity to achieve his dream of making the team.”
“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.”
Previously, Sam tweeted, “Looking forward to sharing my life and journey on @OWNTV with friends, family, and my faithful supporters.”
Oprah’s statement from when the series was first announced: “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. 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.”