It would appear as though Sam's hopes of just being treated as a normal football player aren't coming to fruition quite yet, or he would have been drafted a LOT earlier.
Fortunately for Sam, the Oprah Winfrey Network has found a way for him to make a little bit of extra money to supplement all the money he lost by plummeting in the draft. They'll be filming a reality TV show about his life and his draft process.
They just made the announcement yesterday via Twitter, and apparently this comes as a huge surprise to many in the sports media business.
Sports Illustrated senior writer Peter King was quick to admonish Sam, pointing out what he believed to be a double standard.
"I just wish you guys would see me as Michael Sam the football player, not Michael Sam the gay football player." --Sam, Feb. 22, 2014— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) May 15, 2014
"We're proud to announce our new docuseries with history-making football player @MichaelSamNFL." --Oprah Winfrey Network, today.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) May 15, 2014
Then, @ChrisWarcraft, why make the statement you want to be treated as a football player, not a gay football player?— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) May 15, 2014
Does King have a point? Is Sam being disingenuous?
Quite frankly, no.
Michael Sam has told people exactly how he wants to be treated. Like a football player. Unfortunately, that's not how everyone is going to treat him. It's just not going to happen.
When OWN approached him with the idea to film a reality show, they weren't treating him like any other football player. They were treating him like the first openly gay NFL player. They were treating him like a groundbreaking pioneer in a business that has taken far longer to integrate than most others.
But was Sam wrong for agreeing to the deal?
After all, what NFL player would turn down a deal like that? Of course there's not a single player in the league, particularly among recently drafted rookies, who would turn down a chance to make some extra money. The fact that Sam was drafted in the 7th round, far later than he should have been selected, makes this an even more necessary move, financially.
Many people have already spoken out about him kissing his boyfriend after finding out that he was drafted by the Rams. Yet none of these people spoke out the same way after countless other draft picks kissed their significant others after being drafted. Of course, all those other players were kissing wives and girlfriends.
Michael Sam is continuing to do what he says he wanted to do. He's carving out a career as an NFL football player. If a TV network wants to film a show around his life, why wouldn't he accept that offer?
It's time to stop overanalyzing Michael Sam's actions and being hypercritical of every choice he makes. That's the first step.