Winfrey's OWN to air TV docu-series on football's Michael Sam

LOS ANGELES Thu May 15, 2014 5:32am IST

May 13, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams seventh round pick defensive end Michael Sam talks with the media during a press conference at Rams Park. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

May 13, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams seventh round pick defensive end Michael Sam talks with the media during a press conference at Rams Park. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oprah Winfrey's OWN television network said on Wednesday that it will produce a documentary series about St. Louis Rams football player Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted in the NFL.

The network, which is jointly owned by Winfrey and Discovery Communications Inc, said the series will follow Sam as he prepares for a career in professional football and tries to make the Rams roster.

The Rams selected Sam, 24, on Saturday in the seventh round of the NFL Draft three months after the defensive end from the University of Missouri came out publicly.

Sam's story attracted wide attention in the lead-up to the annual draft, and his tearful embrace of his boyfriend when drafted has quickly become an emblematic moment for the sport.

A start date for the series, its title or the number of episodes OWN planned to air were not announced.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Andre Grenon)

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