Michael Sam (pictured), the first openly gay football player in the NFL, is to be the subject of a multi-part docuseries for U.S. net OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.
The Untitled Michael Sam Project (working title) – which OWN will produce with Pilgrim Studios – will spotlight the former University of Missouri football player as he prepares to join the St. Louis Rams. Cameras will follow Sam as he works to earn his place on the team, while trying to manage the scrutiny of being an openly gay player.
“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,” said OWN chief Oprah Winfrey 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.”
Sam added: “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. 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.”
The Untitled Michael Sam Project is exec produced by Craig Piligian, Nicholas Caprio and Johnny Gould. Amy Rice, Ralph Wikke and Mitch Rosa are co-exec producers, and producers include Cameron Weiss, Joe Barkett and Howard Bragman.