Michael Sam reality show on hold


A planned reality TV show centered on Rams rookie defensive end Michael Sam has been placed on hold.

The Oprah Winfrey Network announced that it is postponing the Sam reality show, after Sam faced criticism from those who said his decision to become the focal point of a TV show was incompatible with his claims that he’s totally focused on football.

Sam’s agent released a statement saying, “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. Everybody involved remains committed to this project and understands its historical importance as well as its positive message.”

When the project was announced on Wednesday, Sam said in a statement that, “my focus is on playing football to the very best of my ability.” And the show was reportedly slated to show Sam hard at work trying to make the Rams’ roster.

But by Thursday, Sam had begun facing criticism by fans and members of the media who questioned whether he was more interested in becoming a star than a football player. More importantly, at least one Rams player had concerns, and there were conflicting reports about whether the NFL was aware of Sam’s plans to participate in the reality TV show.

OWN says it continues to support Sam. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him working with the network at some point, but that point will not be this summer, while all of Sam’s work will be football-focused.

132 responses to “Michael Sam reality show on hold

  1. We thought Michael Sam was opening the door for openly gay players, but his actions are actually slamming the door shut.

    The league won’t let them do it, but the Rams should cut him now and stop the circus in it’s tracks.

  2. Good…now maybe this will be the last we hear of him until he is cut or makes the 53 man roster

  3. “I just want to play football.”

    Except of course when I’m filming a reality show to promote my gay lifestyle.

  4. It doesn’t sound like the focus to play football includes everybody needing to be on the same page. This TV project certainly created a lot of drama without ever really existing except for the brief time when it did and for an unexplained reason. So did they not know there would be public criticism, or was the problem that they estimated not as much? And which people figured out how to contribute to this decision that now needs to be reversed?

  5. Well he already dug himself in a hole, but it’s a good thing he didn’t keep digging. He has a great opportunity before him. If he wants to be a symbol for equality, then he needs to reject the voices that trying to exploit his story and focus on making the team.

  6. Really wish the kid well and hope he can make an impact, but I’m certain he can get a lifetime movie gig if things don’t work out.

  7. After he is canned by the Rams, he can go do his reality show. But who would watch?

    Todays episode
    Michael Sam tries to improve on his 25 inch vertical jump in his backyard while his 7 year old neighbor hits 26

    I really feel sorry for the Rams players. Snead has backed them in corner and they have no choice but to shut up..

  8. The announcement of the reality show was a bigger distraction than the show would have been. Why is being low key considered such a bad thing nowadays?

  9. Michael Sam should fire every person who works for him who didn’t think this was a terrible idea. If you couldn’t see this situation making his new life in the NFL 1,000 times harder than it already would have been, you shouldn’t be advising anybody.

  10. Looks like he pulled something out of his…. See what I did there? If you want to be a football player, play football.

  11. I’m ticked off at Jadeveon Clowney. If he had played his game and not eased up to keep healthy, he would have been the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and not Sam. Then maybe Sam wouldn’t have been drafted at all.

  12. Oprah’s people probably assumed the Rams / NFL would give them unfettered access to create a Hardknocks type program. It does not help that his team mates are talking anonymously which is prelude to problems in the locker room even before playing a down.

    How long until Manziel’s create their reality show or future rookies bringing their camera ensemble and videographers to profile them too. I can see Kris Jenner getting her agent’s license and doing just that.

    These reality show ideas are about showcasing players and their significant others as the team and NFL logo is exploited to make money. Needless to these shows make the athlete look like their careers are a secondary thought.

  13. Let him have his show! He can be the NFL’s first openly gay player and the NFL’s first unemployed player this season……….

  14. They should also cancel Hard Knocks. Sam’s “reality show” is a bad idea, but so is the Hard Knocks show a bad idea that gets into the middle of a teams preparation.

  15. There are too much (non) reality shows on TV anyway. He should produce & write his own sitcom pilot about a slow, unathletic tweener football player who moves in with his straight-laced, neat n’ tidy male friend who works as an interior designer whose differing personalities & world views combine for hilarious comedic predicaments.

  16. The fact that he accepted the invite of a reality show BEFORE he even made the team speaks volumes about where his head is at, and where hers is, as well. I am not a Rams fan, don’t even like them, but it isn’t their fault she pitched a show to the guy. They shouldn’t be blamed for this 3-ring circus. Hope he doesn’t make the team, you can’t unring the bell. Don’t bother with the guy, it’s not worth it.

  17. Oprah had a television crew at today’s rookie workout. Probably while that was going on the Rams executives were telling Sam’s people how they did not appreciate the disruption. Message delivered.

  18. Here’s the thing I can’t understand:

    Who exactly is Michael $am listening to???

    The guy has a college education, so he’s not dumb.

    So either:

    a) He’s delusional in thinking he’s a first round talent which got bypassed for over TWO HUNDRED other players before the Rams picked him in Round 7


    b) He truly felt like the OWN show would advance the LGBT cause moreso then his pursuit of an NFL career

    Either way, all the momentum he got for being drafted didn’t even last a week.

    If I were the Rams, I’d cut him stat. He KNEW he was going to do this and yet failed to tell the Rams.

    Kinda like the boss who knows he’s going to fire you, and sends it to you in a Facebook message vs. having the balls to tell you to your face.

  19. So apprently the Rams weren’t too happy about this whole thing afterall. Nice of them to lie about it even though we were smart enough to figure that out already.

  20. Hmm, what could be different about this particular person that has people actively hoping his career fails?

  21. Whether a professional athlete is gay or straight, I don’t see how it is appropriate in any way for the media to focus so heavily upon an individual’s sexual preferences for such an extended period of time. I understand that this is a historical moment of sorts and it makes perfect sense for the media to acknowledge the very first openly gay athlete in the NFL, but at some point the focus has to shift back to evaluating Michael Sam as a football player. The guy is a professional football player, football is his occupation, and whether he likes to have sex with boys or girls shouldn’t be what the media focuses upon 100% of the time…ITS JUST NOT REASONABLE.

    I commend him for coming out and telling the world he is gay, it was a courageous thing to do and hopefully it empowers other men just like him. BUT, if I were Michael Sam, I would have made a LOUD AND CLEAR REQUEST that would go something like this:

    “Yes, I am gay, but please respect my personal privacy and I do not want to have to constantly answer questions about my sex life moving forward. I am a football player and I would prefer any line of questioning to concern my play on the field. Even more importantly, please respect my teammates and coaches and do not ask them questions about my sex life either. Being a distraction of any kind is not my intention. Thank you.”

  22. It won’t be long until Mr Sam will be off the football field and walking the streets.

  23. Oprah-When he gets cut he will sue the NFL

    Oprah-If does the reality show and gets cut from the
    NFL,he will sue the NFL and me

    Shows on hold folks.

  24. Jeepers! Why didn’t “The Oprah” give Conservative Christian Tim Tebow HIS own reality show when he was around?

  25. michael sam is making a mockery of the NFL. he wont make the team or any other team

  26. How would being in a documentary be a distraction? Players are on TV 24/7. Have you seen ESPN?!

  27. We keep hearing that Sam came out before the draft because he was about to be outed, but I am starting to doubt that now. Knowing what we have now seen from him, I believe that this was a manipulated stunt by Sam to try to benefit financially from going public.

    Had he just gone about his business as a football player who happens to be gay, no one would have made a big deal out of it and he would not have been able to capitalize off of it as he is now doing.

  28. So… basically… the rams called them in and said this has to stop. and by on hold they mean not while he is on the team

  29. The fact that this reality show was in the works before Sam was even drafted clearly shows that all his comments about being 100% focused on playing football were outright lies. This guy has been telling anyone who would listen that he did not want to make a big deal about his being gay, he wanted recognition for what he could do on the football field. I guess the fiction in that has been exposed. Either this guy is getting some monumentally bad advice from his handlers and agent or he is not listening to them and made this huge mistake on his own – it would be interesting to find out which one. Was this fiasco to result of all the hangers on trying to get as much money out of Sam now before his lack of ability to make in the NFL is exposed or was it Sam looking to cash in on being a gay football player before he ends up getting cut. Either way Sam does not have what it takes to make it in the NFL and that is going to become apparent very quickly. I seriously doubt that he will be on the Rams 53 man roster at the start of the season.

    I think that the Rams made a big mistake in drafting him because when they inevitably cut him everyone will try and blame it on the fact that Sam is gay instead of on his lack of ability. The Rams and the league in general should have waited to get into this circus until they had a player with the skills to go in the first 4-5 rounds of the playoff, not taking the risk on a player that barely got drafted at all. In fact if Sam were not gay I do not think he would have been drafted. I think that there was a lot of pressure on the league for a team to draft Sam and I would not be surprised to learn that the Rams taking him was part of some back room agreement with the league and the other owner.

  30. The NFL Soap Opera previously brought you such characters as Aaron the Hitman Hernandez, Richard the Macho Man Sherman, Johnny Finger Guns Manziel… They are now proud to introduce the latest media Circus clown Michael Sam… Please clamor over him until pre season. Thank you!!

  31. Three cheers for Hypocrisy! Hard Knocks, Draft Academy: Those shows and the rookies that appear in them are any different then Michael Sam? The criticism is obviously veiled, let’s call it what it is. It’s his life, he doesn’t owe any of you anything. If he doesn’t make the team then so beat it, but look at all the anger. Are you really mad that a 7th round draft pick gets attention or is it the fact a gay football player gets attention? Those previously mentioned shows are hits with nary a critic, so I’m going to assume it’s the latter.

  32. “Hey kids, the circus is in St. Lou. And you know how you just LOVE all the CLOWNS! Let’s Go!

  33. If he gets cut than he can do the reality show about making another nfl roster & still get paid. The rams just want to make sure he is focused as a football player. I wouldn’t have a problem with it if he was a veteran, but rookies need to be focused on learning how to be an NFL player first. If he is worth a damn the endorsements will be there. If he is not serious about the NFL than by all means take every opportunity to make money & not spend that time in the gym or watching film, but just don’t try to use the discrimination card when you don’t make it

  34. I thought the lesson that we’re supposed to take from Michael Sam and his journey is that a gay football player is just a football player, no different from a straight football player. The whole notion of the documentary undermines that completely.

  35. Dear Rams, please cut this guy asap, you don’t need this political correct circus, is it just me or this guy is beginning to be disliked???

  36. Hopefully on-hold indefinitely, Sam your priority should be to help the Rams get better. You need to choose between acting or football.

  37. He never should have been drafted. The Rams were either ordered or begged by the Commissioner to draft this individual. And predictably the circus followed. The kind of circus the Rams do not want because this player promised the NFL there would be no circus. Now they will pay the price.

  38. Good move, but it’s still too little, too late. If Sam was truly committed to football and proving he could make an NFL roster, he should not have come out when he did. Would he have been a 7th round pick still if nobody knew his sexual preference? Now, regardless of whether he makes the Rams final roster or not there will always be those that argue it was because he was gay. Imagine the impact an announcement like this would have made if it occurred in September.

  39. What a shame! The Rams don’t own the rights to Sam. Sam owns the Rams! Heck he owns the NFL and he knows it. What other seventh round draft pick could get away with this kind of crap? How do you think a seventh rounder other than Sam would be received by his teammates if he was preparing to work on a TV documentary rather than his playbook? Can you say blanket party? If he was serious about becoming a better football player I would think that he would be studying his playbook rather than rehearsing lines for a documentary. There’s no way that the Rams can just cut this distraction and Sam along with his lawyers know it.

  40. The NFL is the ultimate “merit-ocracy,” where performance is what matters, not backgrounds. I think that in 2014 most people don’t care if a player is gay or not, or married or not, or a criminal or not (unfortunately), as long as they perform. This should be exactly what the gay community wants–a place where someone can be judged on merit alone. Sam only hurts future gay players by grabbing attention and making it less about football and more about being the first… Just play football, if you perform, you get a spot. Simple.

  41. Oh BTW Sam was shown so much respect for declaring his sexual orientation. He was so honest and brave in doing so, yet he failed to mention this documentary he planned on doing. Gee I wonder why that would be. I guess it just slipped his mind. Couldn’t have nothing to do with him going undrafted. We all know that he’s way too honest and brave for that.

  42. He needs to concentrate 100% on making it past the final cuts. If he can’t make it on the final 53, then go get a reality show.

  43. Wonder who blinked first? Sam or Oprah? (Maybe they oughta call Dr Phil to investigate…)

    Wonder if IWN was afraid of everyone finding out that the NFL knew about it but no teams? Have to protect the Goodell truth, you know…

  44. After his performance, at the combine, he should be focused on one thing… MAKING THE DAMN TEAM! The Rams are deep at the defensive end position. Heck, even at the linebacker position, Sam would have real trouble making this team!

  45. Just curious, but what was the show to be about? As it’s all about being gay, would the show just show him acting in gay ways? As there are hundreds of NFL players, but only Sam gets a show, the show apparently is all about being gay. What would that look like each episode? Other than making out with another guy, there’s nothing else unique about a gay football player compared to a straight one. Stupid idea. Just let Sam try to make the team. Oprah doesn’t need to overexpose an already overexposed football player.

  46. As an LGBTQ man I have some advice for our young Michael Sam. Stop thinking about being a gay football player and start thinking about being a football player.

    Or you won’t be either.

  47. Ok I’m more than happy this guy gets his chance to play in the NFL and it was cool he had the guts to openly declare he was gay in a league of testosterone heavy men. He did it before the draft and no matter what it hurt his draftstock just based on the media circus that was sure to follow any team that drafted him. At the time I thought you know he’s not the only gay guy in college football but the only one willing to say so right now. But the more I read about his whole story and all the attention he is getting, NOT about whether he can play in the NFL but because he’s gay and then this crap about a reality show with Oprah’s network, well I’m starting to get the feeling this whole story was contrived to make the guy money and a media circus by taking advantage of what he had to know was going to be a huge attention getter. Its just starting to seem really fake to me now, not that I don’t think he’s truly gay but his motives are starting to seem designed to get all the attention he can. Just play football and show us all you can do it. I don’t care if you are gay or not but shut up about it and play ball!

  48. He’d be better off making sure he can hold his own in the Nfl first…..or the show will be as short lived as his scareer…then show would be much better if done tastefully with less cake frosting and more inspiration.

  49. This is the most News that Rams have made in years! HMMMMM Loved the kiss, will be on Rams Highlight Reel. Sam will be a great backup for the bulls!

  50. This has the classic victim’s mentality feeling to it; woe is me, I am in the minority and world is out to get me. Now let’s line up some advertisers to pay me big money while they film the world’s prejudice against me.

    The Rams will regret the day he was drafted, he wouldn’t make the team and yet he will be the focus on a daily basis from the day training camp starts to the day he is cut. For the benefit of the football team, the Rams are better off cutting him in the first wave of cuts so they can prepare for the season.

  51. If a 7th round rookie needs to get told that his only focus should be on football and trying to make the team, then that 7th rookie is not worth the opportunity extended him to try and make the team.

  52. This should never have happened from the beginning. He said he wanted to be committed to his football, and then a reality show comes along. Just play football and stop the publicity stunts.
    The general public don’t care, and we don’t need to keep seeing him on every channel on the television either. Enough is enough. Make the team or “go away” when you don’t.

  53. Now if he gets cut from the team they’ll say its because the team couldn’t handle the publicity that comes with having a gay player on your team smh

  54. Oprah just wanted her failing network to be in the news. Yes Oprah we know you have a network. Too bad we don’t wanna watch it. We know what your all about, you have shown your true colors and proven you are not who you have pretended to be all thee years.

  55. I don’t really blame Sam, as much as I do his agent and whoever else he listened to. Oprah pitched this great moment, where the first openly gay football player gets drafted and defies the odds and history of a sport. To a 20 something year old, I can see why he couldn’t turn Oprah down, I mean come on, look at the laudry list of people who she’s talked into interviews. But his agent should have been smart enough to see this was going to be a huge mistake and could possibly end his career before it gets started. I could careless if hr makes the roster or not, it doesn’t affect my team at all, he’s just another football player who got way to much attention just because he’s gay and not because of football at all.

  56. This episode will much much easier with respect to PR for the Rams to cut Sam when its becomes apparent that he is poorly suited to their team from a football perspective.

  57. I tired of any hint of criticism of Sams reality show is NFL fans being haters and bigots. The fact is I feel NFL nation being the fans and players have been supportive with the feeling if he plays well he show get a roster spot. The fact is it is unfair for him to bring the unwanted distractions being his show to his team and teammates who are trying to focus on football not their sexual origination. NFL is a football league not a platform for Oprah and other non football entities to promote drama on political and social issues that are not really an issue with the NFL community.

  58. I just hope he puts on his socks and goes 110% from now on the practice field because he had a big enough challenge as it was to make the team without adding to it with all the Oprah stuff but he still needs his chance to work before everyone declares him cut, one de injury and hes almost guarrented a spot unless he’s terrible.

  59. At least this explains all of the silly drama of pdas. dolphins should unfine Jones. he was right, this is horrible.

  60. I want to see him cut ASAP. Already tired of the sideshow and frankly every worthless word written about him instead of how preseason camps are working towards coming together to be a “Team”.

    If they will feature a 7th round pick for all the teams then that would be different scenario.

  61. Everyone involved had better hope that Michael Sam succeeds as an NFL player or else nobody will be interested in his reality show. All of the hype about this was drummed up by the media anyway, and we’ve all seen how quickly the media loses interest in promoting a story about a player who gets released by his team. Tim Tebow anyone?

  62. I am all for Sam playing football.
    But think about this…
    If he already has the 2nd most jersey sales, and fans have a HUGE say in who goes ot the pro bowl…
    isn’t there a good chance that a player who makes the team but ma never play much, if at all, in his first year, make the Pro Bowl based purely on his popularity as a social game-changer rather than field game-changer, and is that right?

  63. Could care less. A 7th round pick HAHAHAHA.
    I would rather watch paint dry then this POS on Oprah’s network
    ROFLMFAO at that crap.
    I hope he is cut

  64. If a reality/documentary show comes out of this whole thing, I’m sure it will show him as a poor victim. Give me a break. He made his bed but he has other factors that the show will spin.

  65. I am so tired of this guy already…..him dealing with someone I think is one of the biggest phonies around doesn’t make it any better….

  66. Here is some advice for the Rams. Want to get
    rid of Sam? Sign Richie Incognito and let them room together……….

  67. Kinda wish espn would stop hyping the Sam situation up..being gay is NOT a race or ethnicity…it is a CHOICE and lifestyle and not something you are born with or born into..

  68. It shouldn’t be.

    It’s not right that the most overrated head coach in history gets to cash in and put his imprint on his mediocre team while the athlete who will now earn less on average than the coach and likely be more broke within a few years can’t get paid.

    Why would you ever want to play for Fisher?

    He can’t win and makes the game too much about himself.

  69. The damage had been done. If his mind was on football and only football this wouldn’t have been a discussion in the first place.

  70. At first I was curious to know what was going to happen to Michael Sam.
    But now that there is all this unwarranted attention heaped on him just because he is a novelty or a circus sideshow freak, forget about it.
    I no longer care to know and am going to start tuning out reports about him.
    The only thing he has going for him is that he is gay and is in the NFL. As for being a good player, that is doubtful at this point. He may be overrated.

  71. Hey Sam, if your focus is TRULY on football, and you want this to BE ABOUT FOOTBALL, then MAKE IT ABOUT FOOTBALL! I am so tired of this already. SHOW us what you can do and why you should make the FOOTBALL team. And leave it at that.

  72. This would have created a media circus to the point which the Rams probably weren’t counting on when they drafted him.

    Going straight for a reality show before you even make a team that is already loaded at DE wouldn’t have been the best decision for Sam’s career either.

    They made the right decision for everyone involved.

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