Thursday, May 15, 2014

Michael Sam gets his own reality TV series to be produced by Oprah's OWN network: Report

You can bet this is exactly what the St. Louis Rams didn't want when they selected Michael Sam in the NFL Draft last week. 

Sam, the first openly gay player to be picked by an NFL team, has landed his own TV deal for a reality series.

The seventh-round choice will be the focus of a new multi-part documentary series to air on Oprah's OWN network, produced by the same crew that filmed Lindsay Lohan's cancelled reality show.

"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," Oprah Winfrey said in a statement. 

"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," Winfrey added. 

The announcement might come as somewhat of a shock to the Rams since Sam said at a press conference one day earlier that he just wants to focus on training. 

When asked what it felt like to the the first openly-gay draftee, Sam bluntly stated: "I guess it's great." 

"I'm determined to be great so I'm going to train hard and try and make the team," he added.

Shooting has already begun on the as-yet untitled project. Camera crews were reportedly in the room (apparently unbeknown by the Rams) when Sam found out he had been selected by St. Louis and celebrated by kissing his boyfriend. It's uncertain how much access the NFL and Rams will grant them now that Sam is in training.

The series will follow Sam as he trains to make the St. Louis Rams 53-man roster for next season — which will come with a lot of challenges.

The SEC Defensive Player of the Year is considered too small to be an NFL defensive end and, most likely, he'll have to focus on learning a new position if he wants to make the team.

But in a Tuesday press conference, Sam said the attention he's received will only help his training.

"Thank God for you guys making this all a big deal, because it’s just going to make me a better player than I am now," Sam said.

Let the circus begin.

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