Michael Sam documentary series on OWN shelved as possible distraction

Michael Sam documentary series on OWN shelved as possible distraction
St. Louis Rams draftee Michael Sam. (Dilip Vishwanat / Getty Images)

Game over for Michael Sam's documentary series on OWN.

The network owned by Oprah Winfrey has pulled its planned series that would have chronicled the start of the professional career of the first openly gay football player to be selected in the NFL draft.

The move came just a couple of days after the announcement of the series that would have followed Sam, who was picked by the St. Louis Rams in the last round of the draft. The news had prompted a wellspring of controversy about whether the series would prove to be a distraction for Sam, who has not officially made the team.

"After careful consideration and discussion with the St. Louis Rams, 'The Untitled Michael Sam Project' has been postponed, allowing Michael the best opportunity to achieve his dream of making the team," said Erik Logan, president of OWN, in a statement. "OWN is about elevating and empowering people to achieve their best. It's clear that we, along with the world, recognize the important opportunity that Michael now has in this moment. We will continue to support him in his journey to earn a spot playing for the Rams."

Cameron Weiss of Empire Athletes, Sam's agent, said in another statement: "After today's meeting with the Rams, we collectively feel it is best to postpone the project. That will allow for Michael to have a total focus on football, and will ensure no distractions for his teammates. Everybody involved remains committed to this project and understands its historical importance as well as its positive message."

Sam provoked headlines over the weekend when ESPN aired a shot of him kissing his boyfriend upon learning that he had been drafted.