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Michael Sam reportedly declines TV appearances during 2014 NFL draft

Michael Sam declines TV appearances during 2014 NFL draft, per report Michael Sam has said he wants the focus to be on him as a football player, not a gay football player. (Todd Rosenberg for SI)

Michael Sam is attempting to become the NFL's first openly gay player, a quest that will begin this week at the NFL draft. There's been no shortage of interest in Sam's story, so it was only natural for television networks to look to capture Sam's experience during draft weekend.

Both ESPN and the NFL Network asked to follow Sam during the draft, but according to sports business reporter Mark J. Burns, Sam has respectfully declined.

Sam said shortly after announcing his sexual orientation that he wanted to focus on football and that he doesn't want to be a distraction to any team, and his actions continue to back up that claim. ESPN's Darren Rovell said cameras will be with Sam on Saturday to follow his reactions, but Rovell didn't specify if a network would be operating said cameras.

MORE: 2014 NFL Mock Draft | 2014 NFL draft needs: AFC | NFL draft needs: NFC

It is highly unlikely that Sam will be drafted before Day 3 of the draft, so the Sam storyline will likely be the main focus on the final day of the draft.

When/if Sam finally does get drafted, he will be able to answer the telephone in the presence of his close family and friends and then begin preparing for the next step of his professional career.

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