OWN decided to put its documentary series on the first openly gay NFL football player on hold indefinitely to allow the player to focus on making the St. Louis Rams’ team, OWN co-president Erik Logan confirmed Monday.
OWN’s the Untitled Michael Sam Project, which was set to follow Sam's life as he looked to make the Rams team which drafted him in the second round of the NFL draft, came under criticism last week for potentially serving as a distraction for Sam and the Rams’ football activities.
Speaking on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike Show Monday morning, Logan said the network assumed it wouldn’t have access to Sam’s on the field or locker room activities, but rather would follow Sam through his off-the-field comments. He added the network ultimately decided to postpone the series after meeting last Thursday with Sam’s representatives and the Rams.
“We came to an understanding that the best decision for Michael right now is for him to focus 100% on football right now,” Logan said. “The most significant thing he can do now is make the team. It was an easy call to make.”
Logan said the network will work in collaboration with the Rams and Michael’s team to figure out the right time to resume the documentary. “It’s a big football story but it’s also much bigger than that,” he said.