Michael Sam gets a reality show on Oprah’s network

AP

Rams defensive end Michael Sam is getting a reality show.

The Oprah Winfrey Network announced today that it is working with Sam on a reality TV project that will show his life as the first openly gay player in the NFL.

“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.”

There’s been no word on how much access the Rams will give the reality TV cameras, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the team has some qualms about it. NFL teams generally prefer for their rookies to put all their energy into football, not outside projects. That’s why A.J. McCarron quickly distanced himself from it when his fiancee, Katherine Webb, was reportedly in talks for a reality show. And that may be why Sam, in a statement, made clear that his focus is on making the team.

“Like every player out there working to make a team right now, my focus is on playing football to the very best of my ability,” said Sam. “I am determined. And if seeing my story helps somebody else accept who they are and to go for their dreams too, that’s great. I am thankful to Oprah for her support and excited to work together.”

Working with Oprah will be nice, but working for Jeff Fisher is what Sam really needs to do in the next three months, if he still wants to be a Ram in four months.

239 responses to “Michael Sam gets a reality show on Oprah’s network

  1. Clearly this guy ‘just wants to play football’. Dude, focus on the field. You have enough issues to face on the gridiron as it is.

  2. Seems like a nice enough guy, and I don’t really care about him being gay.
    But it doesn’t sound like a DVR alert.

  3. He’ll probably make the first round of cuts for PC purposes but doubt he makes the 53…..

  4. He “made it clear that his focus is on making the team”? Maybe to you, but not to me. From day one it seemed like he wanted to be famous, period.

  5. What a circus. This guy should be focused on football but instead he is playing in Hollywood. I now wonder if he knew he couldn’t make it in the NFL so he came out to cash in..

  6. I’m focused on football. Don’t mind the cameras and the red carpet premiere and the male groupies and the talk show appearances.

  7. Well this is not good for his football career…but I guess you gotta strike while the iron is hot?

  8. Any support this guy had from real football fans just vanished with this nonsense. He’s obviously more interested in being a celebrity than a football player.

  9. He needs lay low and keep his nose to the grindstone. He’s a seventh round pick and easily expendable and I can’t see how having a reality show is going to ever be a positive.

  10. Hes probably a good football player, but it seems hes a terrible team mate. How can you put your team in a position like this. Totally selfish.

  11. Maybe it’s just me, but this whole thing has stunk like moldy dollar bills from the outset. Some feel a major reason he went public was that without the added exposure, he’d never get drafted. Now he gets drafted and the first thing he does is hook up with a reality show. Football has given this guy every chance in the world, but this is devolving into a debacle with the focus being anything but football. Wonder how Jeff Fisher is starting to feel now….

  12. THIS, Skip and Steven A, is why Sam was not drafted according to his talent alone. SMH.

  13. So much for this guy’s routine about being low key and just wanting to fit in, lol. Guess he was waiting until after the draft to let his ambitions out.

  14. “I just wish you guys would see me as ‘Michael Sam the football player’, instead of ‘Michael Sam the gay football player’.”

    Oprah’s renowned for helping with that sort of thing.

  15. o-line is gonna pancake this guy. his 225lb reps was the weakest for lb/de.

  16. Sounds like a fall back opportunity to me. Dude signs up for the TV money because he already knows NFL money won’t be coming in.

  17. Great! Now they can suspend and fine more players for expressing their disapproval of Sam’s sexuality.

    He can put it on TV, but nobody is allowed to comment unless they are making comments of support.

  18. The Rams’ politically correct PR-move just blew up in their face.

    Imagine Hard Knocks mixed with ultimate PC correctness– if they allow cameras– players, coaches, staff will be mired in controversy then lose their jobs for saying the wrong thing or thinking the wrong thoughts.

  19. The few times I’ve watched the Rams recently, their defense shows flashes of being excellent.

    They don’t need this garbage.

  20. Dumbest, most irresponsible thing he could have possibly done. No surprise that Oprah got her greedy hands in there somehow to finish off this kids football career before it even started.

  21. I wonder how HBO Hard Knocks cameras will get position with Oprah’s cameras in the way…

  22. Sure, Michael Sam is “all about football”….what a joke! This was all merely a publicity stunt and Jeff Fisher looks like an idiot for allowing this circus to come into the league. Sounds like Michael Sam’s #1 priority was getting a reality show for him and his fluffer. If here weren’t drafted, would there even be a reality show? Of course not…what a disgrace to the NFL.

  23. We thought Michael Sam was opening the door for openly gay players– instead he just slammed it shut.

    No NFL team will ever want to deal with a mess like this ever again.

  24. I am sooooo sick of hearing about this guy! I have been a die-hard Rams fan for over 25 years. I love football. I follow it year round, from the draft to camp to pre-season etc. I wish I could hear a tenth of the news about other 10 players the Rams drafted.
    My wife tried to get me to jump ship when they moved to St Louis but I stayed true. All this crap has me reconsidering.

  25. I won’t watch. I’m not interested in how hypocrites live day to day.

    His sexual preference is irrelevant to his career. But his word, integrity, and decision making are very relevant. Strike one, strike two, strike 3. That was fast.

  26. I think the reason he fell so far in the draft wasn’t because of his football ability, but the fact that the media will make him a MAJOR distraction to the team. Now Oprah and Sam have proved it. Plus, if a team drafted him and then such media attention came about…then if you have to cut him because of his football ability…folks will claim it was because he was gay and it was a distraction to the organization is why he was cut.

  27. It’s good that he will have a job to fall back on come September, after he gets cut. If you questioned his dedication before, well there is no question now. He’s a fraud.

  28. No one is allowed to say anything, or give an opinion except oprah and megahead. Jeff Fisher was duped, hope sam doesn’t make the team. What a sham, thought this guy was smarter than this. A reality show? All about football, right? All about letting oprah having another 15 min of fame.

  29. At a time when every nfl coach is fighting to keep the “Hard Knocks” cameras out of their locker room, a guy who says he won’t let his lifestyle be a distraction signs up for a reality show. It’s getting harder to defend this guy.

  30. Too late to go back. Too early to cut him.

    Rams stuck it to themselves by not doing due diligence in the personality check and psychological profile.

  31. Enough already!

    A 7th round draft choice is getting more attention than the Rams #1 draft choice…..what’s his name?

    First, a press conference and now this….jeez!

    I hope he makes the team so that the “real men” on the field will light him up!

  32. I have lost any interest I had in cheering for him succeed in the NFL. I think he is misleading a lot of people when he says “it’s all about football”. Totally misrepresenting his true ambition judging by this “me”ality tv show.

  33. Sam has pretty much officially hit celebrity status. He’s probably the most famous gay guy in the world right now. He’s going to make millions, even if he doesn’t make it in football.

    In fact, the best thing for him long-term would be to not even make the team, leave football, stay healthy, and live off his celebrity status. Would save his body from more wear and tear; he might even live past 50…

    Personally, I’m already tired of hearing abuot him, too. But I don’t think he’s going to go away any time soon.

  34. I am so glad the Vikings didn’t draft him. Not because of anything other than the circus atmosphere he is bringing to the team.

    I think the Rams are regretting it already. The distractions are going to really bring the team down. Resentment from other players, coaches worrying about getting in trouble if they say one thing to him that he might be able to turn into something it is not.

    Good luck St. Louis.

  35. That final cut is looking further and further away with each unnecessary publicity stunt this guy embarks on.

    If “it wasn’t a big deal” then why are you making it a “big deal.”

    If you are “just like everyone else” then be like everyone else.

    Yes, people go on reality shows… Even football players. But not 7th round rookies that are long shots to make a team.

  36. Now you all have to eat your words! Jerrah did make a smart decision on draft day, not drafting this guy!! (can you even imagine the fiasco if he was in Dallas, so happy he is not). Sam, most are happy for you, bias is no good. You know what else is no good, false sincerity, and claiming you are “all about football and making the team” and doing something like this not even a week after being drafted. smh

  37. Rams should have a Claus in his contract Not allowing such a move UNLESS its during the off season. But on the other hand they dont have much to lose. LOL but the OWNetwork is the perfect spot for such a project

  38. Can you imagine the media circus if he gets cut from the rams? Ofcourse that to would be all about him being gay.

  39. get that money while you can, pride won’t be paying the bills a year from now…… i didn’t even know Oprah had her own network…

  40. And you wonder why he fell even farther than projected?
    The non-stop drama and side show. What a joke.

    You’d think the Rams would be in lockdown mode looking up at three VERY good teams in their own division.

  41. Getting a reality show? It’s becoming more and more clear that he realizes he isn’t good enough to make a career in the NFL, and his coming out was an attempt to grab headlines and cash it while he can.

  42. I really was rooting for this guy……until now. Its so obvious that we’re now seeing his true colors. If you’re serious about your focus on football you JUST DON’T sign up for a reality show! Not that I thought he would’ve been a fit anyhow, but I am so happy my Eagles didn’t draft this guy. What a circus!! I feel bad for Coach Fisher and the entire Rams coaching staff……I’m sure they didn’t sign up for this garbage!

  43. I get that the importance of the first openly gay player in the nfl, but I’m starting to question whether or not he actually wants to make the team or just be a celebrity. If he wants to get accepted in the locker room he needs to earn his jersey number first. His teamates aren’t going to like him very much if he’s doing reality shows & the media is constantly asking about him without accomplishing anything first (see:Tim Tebow).

  44. Any goodwill that he may have built up from his situation has been lost with this move.

    No one ever has any respect for a person who agrees to have a reality show about their life.

  45. We now know how this is going to pan out since it has been a given the dweeb was never going to cut in the NFL. Too bad the Rams are going to skate off free for making a PC pick instead of trying to draft the best players possible.

    The NFL, the Rams, and the failing O Network are all trying to exploit the not-good-enough for Prime Time dweeb and he shows he is facing reality by setting in motion his golden parachute from being cut from the NFL.

  46. It is like going to a NASCAR race. So many people hoping for a crash.

    I was hoping this young man would have just shut up, showed up for his job and proved he belonged as a football player.

    It is hard now to root for him to succeed because it didn’t even take a week and he brought Ringling Brothers to St. Louis.

    Part of me wants him to make the team but part of me wants to see him crash and burn because of his untruthful words about being all about football.

  47. If the Rams are smart they will cut this guy before he makes their organization a circus.

  48. This guy just wants attention. He cares more about publicity than football, that is why he went out of his public way to make PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT about his sexuality. No one cares he’s gay, but people probably care he gets his own TV show. Where is Rob Branchflower’s show? He is a 7th round pick, I’d like to see HIS journey, because he probably cares about FOOTBALL.

  49. The only reality about this show is that Sam is a publicity seeking,below average football player,who may or may not be gay,who has used and abused every fan,team and player in the nfl..thank you espn and now oprah for helping him in his quest

  50. I hope the beginning of the reality show shows him running the 40 at the combine…That will set the agenda on the OWN network…

  51. You all don’t even know any specifics on the agreement to do this project with OWN yet can opinion that M. Sam is not serious about the Rams and football. Must be nice to know all, see all without actually knowing, seeing anything. I’ll wait to see how it plays out before calling M. Sam a sellout.

  52. OK, now I am thinking a lot of his so called “raw emotion” while he was drafted was just an acted stunt for his reality show he probably already had started.

    certainly worked, though.

  53. The Rams press conference with him was the most awkward thing I’ve seen in a while. The whole thing seemed like a sideshow and this just proves it even more.

  54. Rams should tell Sam that they are not going to have any camera’s at camp and that if he wants to be a TV personality that is fine they can cut him right away and he can do whatever he wants on TV otherwise ditch the camera’s and focus on football.

  55. This is so past annoying!!! Our country has become a joke! Glorifying this lifestyle choice, calling it “courageous”??? Oh my! What was the “cake” fight , he and his boy toy had on draft day???? Shocking

  56. But…What if he makes the team and dominates. The opposing Tackle will be having nightmares before the game hoping not to end up in a Sam highlight on his show.

  57. I just want to add that a reality show involves other people, not just you. He will be asked to talk about his team mates and coaches and describe how he perceives treatment from them. Any perception of negative treatment will be a one way conversation and exaggerated enhanced reactions. The team mates will be muzzled and not be able to respond (see what happened with the Dolphin player who did). They will be with forced smiles and nodding heads for fear of demonization by the PC police.

  58. he better get used to getting cut, that is his future. what is with this country? we should focus on the men and women in armed services and dr’s and nurses etc. dont get me wrong, i follow nfl like crazy. sundays i watch from noon till 1030 and the thursday night games also. what has this flipping guy DONE? enough already.

  59. So WHO did the Rams draft at #1 ? (Sarcasm) I haven’t heard anything about the rest of the draft class other than this inconsequential draftee.

  60. He is making a mistake. Making the team is a full time job; shows poor judgement to now begin another endeavor that takes time and energy away from football .

  61. This deal was surely in place before the draft. I wonder how much Oprah is kicking back to the Rams for drafting him?

  62. Leave it to THAT windbag to take your private journey public, eh?

    If he was like every other player/rookie he would have backed away from that as fast as he could. The Rams will have to tolerate it, unless there is some backdoor payback going on via the NFL, as they seek to draw attention away from the concussion issue.

    Hopefully this serves as motivation for all the other draftees and particularly the undrafted players, to play reeeeaallllyyyyy hard against this guy and make sure he does not make the team, and his “reality” show packs up and leaves town ASAP. Whatever he does after that is irrelevant. It will be interesting to see how long Oprah pals around with him if he gets cut. SHe certainly can afford to float his show for a long time if she wants though.

  63. What? You’re surprised he changed his mind?

    Dude just put his sexuality front and center. It’s open season. If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen. I’m waiting for an INTELLIGENT tweet by an NFL player, along the lines of “I don’t approve of Michael Sam’s lifestyle choices, I think it is wrong, and nobody take away my freedom of speech. ” I think the players union has to back up these players when the NFL threaten the players jobs over their own personal beliefs.

  64. is it him or the media that is making this into a circus? it seems it is the media for marketing purposes and showing how they are politically correct.

  65. This is not surprising. I said earlier he will probably fail as a football player like most of the 7th rounders
    but make a ton of cash like no other 7th rounder. He is putting football second and to be honest i don’t blame him for cashing in. Any slim hope he had of being a professional football player at the highest of levels is now gone with this modern phenomenon of showing the world what a false life you live in front of the camera. As for the Rams bang goes a normal off season with this circus going on around you. You have completely wasted a pick. Rams you have been duped. The only people loving this will be those that have no interest in the game.

  66. I think he’s coming to the realization that perhaps football might not work out in the long run. Perhaps not even the short run. Oh well, if you don’t like it, don’t watch it. I sure won’t be.

  67. I bet the Rams are really happy now…they tryed to do the right thing and chances are they probably didnt want him in the 1st place because of stuff like this ..and now if he gets cut they will be groups outside the rams facilty protesting..this thing has gotten way way out of hand “

  68. I wonder if there was any quid pro quo between the NFL and the Rams in all this. Gregg Williams perhaps? No idea. But I sure would like to know.

  69. C’mon people!! This kid deserves a chance to work hard and focus on football only if he’s going to get a shot at being on the Ram’s roster. As SEC defensive player of the year, he obviously has talent. Now he needs to work on using that talent in the NFL!

    Michael, you should know better! So should you Oprah!

  70. This guy is the opposite of Jackie Robinson. Jackie had to prove he could play even though he was black. Sam is using his gay status for an automatic roster spot even though he is mediocre at best.

  71. the worst part was that he knew about it and O’s people were there at his moment of falling down crying over the phone call.

    makes me question everything, and totally side with those who feel it was over the top. now we know why, there wasn’t just ESPN there, it was for a reality show.

  72. I get why he would do it. For a 7th round pick it could easily be the only way to make money. I don’t know exactly what percentage of 7th rounders make the team and actually play in games, but has to be a very small number. I imagine the Rams aren’t happy about it.

  73. Well, at least Sam’s serious about football and this wasn’t all some publicity stunt to advance an agenda.

    Jackie Robinson you are not, Mr. Sam.

  74. This is what everyone is saying or implying, but I have to say it. This is why he lasted so long in the draft. Any organization with any sense and brains would have foreseen the media swarm and distractions his status would create for them. They have enough on their plate, what with PEDs, other drugs, domestic relations issues, frat boy behavior, DUIs, etc., etc., to worry about. Now, you introduce one more element, one more complication, to the process.
    On paper, it should not be this big of a deal. In reality, we are not as advanced a society as we think. Hoo boy.

  75. It is starting to look like Sam is more interested in using his time in the NFL to promote a social agenda than in playing football.

    Not smart. A very, very, bad move on his part.

  76. After the final cutdown he will be looking for work outside of football so maybe she can find work for him in her organization.

  77. He should have just kept his mouth closed about the just wanting to be a football player stuff. Now he looks pretty silly with this.

    Although, from a financial point it probably makes sense being that he probably doesn’t end up making much $ from his NFL career however long it lasts.

  78. What a circus. The guy is gay and that is his choice. I am cool with that.

    Turning this fiasco into a reality show I am not cool with.

    I hope this just motivates every other player taken in those late rounds to work harder.

    What a fool. Enjoy your 15 minutes (What is that June through August?)

  79. He might as well make that TV money while he can. The odds are against any 7th round picks at making NFL game checks.

  80. Enough already. I knew this would do nothing but turn into a media circus !!!!

  81. for all of you hoping he gets cut, never happen. they can’t oprah will see to it with a firestorm of bias bull. the nfl probably told the rams to draft him. i wonder what they got for doing it. welcome to pc world.

  82. BIG MISTAKE by this guy. He’s a 7th round draft choice. For the most part I’m not interested in this story, but now I want to see him get cut. How will they handle that on the show?

  83. The rams deserve everything they got from this whole drama queen draft day steal. I hope the NFL gave you guys a lot, because the pain has just begun.

  84. For a guy who claimed all along that he wanted everything to be about football…he sure is eating up all this attention.

    That said I can’t hate. If I were offered some show that’d pay me handsomely I’d take it in a heartbeat too.

  85. I wonder if our President is having second thoughts about his support for this guy? Then his girlfriend Opera grabs the stage.

  86. I see a lot of “Tebow” comparisons. Sure you’ve got the circus atmosphere, but with Sam you’ve got a 7th round draft pick (always long shots) and a mass-media explosion waiting to happen if he gets cut. At least Tebow was a 1st round pick. He wasn’t getting cut no matter what. Both players have the media’s attention and over-saturation, but both aren’t created equally. At least Tebow contributed to some wins (and many losses).

    I lol’d when somebody above asked what it would be like if Bill Parcels coached Mr Sam. Our overly PC culture couldn’t handle the S-Storm that would create.

  87. Great SAM now any haters have a perfect excuse YOU manufactured. Do you understand why Manziel dropped and lost $$$$? Apparently NOT. Dumb choice – you just increased your chances of legitimately getting cut about 1000 percent Mr. “I only care about football….”

  88. Too bad for the player’s/teammates,they are in a Catch-22. We all would love to hear what they really think but if they say anything they will be vilified,fined and suspended.

  89. I have no problem with Sam trying to earn money. As a 7th round pick, I get it. Money won’t be there from football unless he proves it and scores in a couple years. Just don’t tell me that you want to be judged as a football player only anymore. Everyone knows why you got the tv gig. Everyone knows why you’re getting the most attention heaped on a 7th round draft choice ever.

    Granted the media attention is not your fault per se. I just don’t wanna hear it if you do get cut. Tebow was a first round pick, who was over evaluated. He wasn’t a first round talent but proved he could win. He was cut partly because of his skill to expectation level but partly because of the circus that follows him. Teams just don’t want that circus unless the guy can play. IMO, Tebow should be on a roster somewhere based on his talent, but his talent doesn’t outweigh the attention that he gets. And to give him credit, Tebow has never lamented in public how he’s been treated. He never blamed anyone. I’ll be surprised how Sam reacts IF he gets cut.

  90. Michael Sam is doing everything 100% wrong. If he wants to be treated like a normal football player, act like one. Don’t be going on a reality show before you even made the league. For a 7th round pick, this guy just looks like he is trying to cash in on his fame. With all the hugging, making out, and licking cake off his boyfriend either being staged or him being a complete drama queen, and now this, Sam is off to an awful start.

  91. wow this dude said he wanted to be known as a Football player and now he is doing a reality tv show , This is dude is a circus using his sexuality to get his five mins of fame , I have never seen a 7th round pick get so much attention , focus on football that’s what its suppose to be about right ?

  92. He’ll never get cut. Social engineering goes to the highest levels of our society. Stick Barry’s girlfriend on the case and it wouldn’t surprise me if Sam was an honorary All-Pro with 12 tackles on the season.

  93. I thought Mr. Sam had stated he is only focused on football…? At least Tebow didn’t do a reality show but then again, religion is frowned upon in the media.

  94. And so the circus begins. I wanted to root for this guy just to make the squad that’s very deep at his position.

    Now the true agenda rears it’s ugly head. So much for “it’s all about football”.

  95. Well, as a 7th rounder he’s probably not going to make it. So getting paid for this beats getting cut and getting zip. Unfortunately for him it will also make him another “enough already, please go away” celebrity.

  96. Never before saw so many comments all of the same opinion. This was an important step forward for sports; he and Oprah have turned it into a fiasco. The Rams and Fisher and fans were supporting this step forward, only to have the rug pulled from beneath their feet. Shame on Sam, and Oprah.

  97. The “commical sidekicks” duo of OJ & Kato have now slipped to #2 in the All-Time rankings, behind Sam & Vito!

    I would love to be in St. Louis for DL drills opening day. Someone has to pay the bill for the circus to come to town…

    Just saying!

  98. Why can’t you focus on football during training camp hours and make a film on his own time? Everyone has a hobby or the right to do what they want on their own time. None of the filming will include coaches or teammates and they will not be filming on the Rams property. What’s the big deal?

  99. Lastly, he was the SEC Co-Defensive player of the year! That’s quite an accomplishment! Let’s see how it all play’s out before we start throwing rocks from our glass houses!

  100. Too many people with opinions rather than with positive feedback. Typical.

    1. Michael Sam’s being a football player has no effect on your life.

    2. Michael Sam’s sexuality has no effect on your life.

    3. Michael Sam’s potential television show has no effect on your life.

    People who create their own drama deserve their own karma.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!