The announcement this week that Michael Sam was going to be featured in a reality show on Oprah Winfrey Network caught many by surprise and gave us many reasons to doubt and criticize the former Missouri linebacker. It’s hard enough for NFL players to succeed as it is, but it’s even tougher when you have a reality show on the side. And it’s doubly difficult when you’re a lowly-picked rookie who has a lot to learn and a long way to go to make the team.
But the Rams reportedly are not concerned about the show.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio says the Rams intend to cooperate with Sam to make the situation work out for everyone.
Another issue is whether the team or league knew about Sam’s plans for the reality show. ESPN’s Ed Werder reported that Sam did not tell teams about the show for fear he would not be picked. The guy was only selected 249th overall as it was, so one extra thing like this probably would have resulted in him going undrafted. Would the Rams have selected him had they known about the show, which has been pushed back until after the Super Bowl? That’s a good question.
Another good question is whether the NFL hid their knowledge about the plans for a show. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the league knew about the show and didn’t tell teams about it. The league denied that charge. They also have been firm in saying the Rams were not influenced to select Sam.
The Rams say they will cooperate with Sam, but how will the rest of the team take it? I just think this hurts his chances of making the team and was a bad idea. You can still document his journey with plans for a film later on, but agreeing to a deal with Oprah might be a death sentence for his career.