When he became the first openly-gay NFL player to be drafted into the NFL, Michael Sam became instant history. Shortly after, it was announced that the OWN network had acquired the rights to produce a docu-series about his road to the NFL. Then he became an instant distraction.
Hold up! Wait a minute! He hasn’t even made the team yet!
There was immediate public backlash and many NFL players and analysts didn’t like his “instant celebrity” All of a sudden his moment looked staged and contrived. Many felt his focus should be on football.
Well, now the OWN network says it’s postponing, indefinitely, the production of the docu-series saying that Sam needs to focus his efforts on football.
Uh…yeah. Sam’s focus needs to be actually MAKING the team. He’s a 7th-round draft pick, meaning he has an uphill battle at best. He wasn’t super-exciting to watch at the combine and all the media attention was about him being gay, not about his skills and talents on the field. The NFL is focused on football, and anything that takes away from the “shield” is quickly quieted and removed.
In fact the NFL recently release a statement saying they had no prior knowledge of the deal between Michael Sam and OWN.
Being a distraction is something teams don’t like. His draft into the League seems to be simply symbolic, for now, because what matters in the NFL is how you produce on the field, no matter who you sleep with.
Now, he can and should focus on what he journey has been about—playing football.
What do you think?
Your Jersey Girlfriend,