Michael Sam has played us for fools. He was never interested in fitting in, just being a football player and having us judge him solely based on his efforts on the football field. He was only interested in maximizing the few fleeting moments he will have in the spotlight before he's called into the coach's office and is asked to turn in his playbook; and we bought his act hook, line and sinker.
I don't care that Michael Sam is gay. In fact I held a great deal of respect for Sam and certainly had no issue looking at him as a football player first and a gay man second. Unfortunately it appears Michael Sam sees himself as a gay man first, despite what he says.
Don't buy the spin, Sam isn't doing a "documentary." He's doing a reality TV show. Because of that it makes you question the authenticity of everything we've seen up to now, especially since it's been reported that this was in the works prior to his selection in the 7th round in the 2014 NFL draft. His look of concern mixed with disappointment as the rounds passed in the draft? Staged. The crying during the phone call? Acting. The Kiss? Choreographed.
Sam agreeing to this makes him the sports version of the Kardashians. Famous not for what they've done but for who they are. Does anyone think Jeff Fisher, or any coach for that matter, would be interested in the gay version of "Hard Knocks"? Of course not, and Sam knew that, which is why he didn't announce the farce until after his initial press conference. Now he's put team officials in the unenviable position of having to choose between cutting him and having the media question their motives or put up with his circus sideshow. But Sam just wants to play football, right?
Sam's decision is validating the argument put forth by a number of people who claimed Sam wasn't a good enough football player to warrant all the additional non football-related attention. The reaction was to label them homophobes, but it looks like they were correct.
Sam went from Jackie Robinson to Paris Hilton almost overnight, and the only thing other gay athletes can look to him for is how not to act.
UPDATE: OWN has decided to delay the Michael Sam Project after meeting with Sam's agent and team officials. They act as if this was a mutual decision, but I highly doubt it. The backlash was quick and fierce. Sam had to save face and this was the only way to do so.