Is It A Good Idea For Michael Sam To Shoot A Documentary Series With Oprah Right Now?
Even though the St. Louis Rams selected Michael Sam in the last round of the 2014 NFL Draft last week, there’s no guarantee that Sam—who is the first openly gay player to ever get drafted—will play for the Rams next season. In fact, there’s a pretty decent chance that Sam won’t play for any team during the 2014-15 NFL season. We definitely want to see him in the league. But because he was drafted so low, the odds are stacked against him right now, and he’s going to have to really wow the Rams coaches this spring and summer if he wants to earn a spot on the team. He’s going to have to turn heads and do whatever it takes to make the Rams keep him. He’s going to have to do something special.
What he can’t do in his first few months with the Rams is become a distraction. And unfortunately, it sounds like that’s exactly what he’s going to do, because Sam just agreed to star in a documentary series that is going to be filmed for Oprah‘s OWN. The show won’t be shot in the Rams training facility and it won’t include any footage of Sam spending time within the Rams. But Sam is going to be devoting at least some of his time to the show. And we’re not so sure that that’s such a good idea.
We do understand that, by filming the show, Sam will do a lot of good for a lot of people out there. He will be able to use the show to serve as an inspiration for others. But filming the show might also be a mistake. Because let’s say that, theoretically, the Rams do see Sam as a distraction and use his involvement in the show as a reason to cut him later on. Or worse, let’s say that his teammates feel as though he’s spending too much time working on the show and not enough time putting in work on the field. Then what? Sam will be the star of his OWN show. But he won’t be out on the football field. And if he’s not playing football and is focusing on TV instead, what kind of example is he setting?
Hopefully, Sam will be able to do both things successfully. We want to see him play for the Rams and inspire people through his documentary series. But if he’s going to move forward with the show, he’s going to have to work twice as hard on the field to prove that he belongs in the NFL. Otherwise, the show might be all he has left later this year. And that will be a real shame.