10:09 PM EDT, May 16, 2014
Representatives for Michael Sam announced Friday night that the Oprah Winfrey Network documentary about the NFL's first openly gay player has been put on hold.
The postponement came after meetings with the St. Louis Rams, who selected Sam in the seventh round of the NFL Draft last weekend.
"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," Erik Logan, president of the network, said in a statement.
"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."
Sam, a defensive end who played collegiately at Missouri, will put his efforts into making the team, which could be a challenge considering his draft standing and competition at his position.
"This (postponement) will allow for Michael to have a total focus on football and will ensure no distractions to his teammates," said Sam's agent, Cameron Weiss. "Everybody involved remains committed to this project and understands its historical importance as well as its positive message."
The Oprah Winfrey Network disclosed Wednesday that it planned to follow Sam with the Rams in his attempt to make it in the NFL. The league said it had no knowledge of the project before the draft.
"We learned of this in the days after the draft," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.
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