The boundary-breaking NFL-hopeful, will put his NFL dream on standby to compete in Dancing with the Stars.
Michael Sam, the first openly gay athlete in NFL history, will be a member of Season 20 of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.
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On Tuesday’s edition of Good Morning America, Sam was among the cast members announced for the popular dance show on ABC, along with Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin.
Prior to the 2014 NFL draft, Sam – who was the 2013 SEC co-Defensive Player of the Year at the University of Missouri – openly came out of the closet and announced that he was gay.
The announcement was praised by many, but became a serious question mark for NFL general managers who were afraid of the potential media distraction. As a result, Sam’s draft stock fell.
Sam was eventually drafted in the 7th round of the 2014 NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams, becoming the first openly gay athlete in American sports history to be drafted by a professional sports franchise. Sam kissing his then-boyfriend, now-fiancee Vito Cammisano became one of the most iconic draft moments in history.
He would go on to play for the Rams in the preseason – recording an iconic moment by sacking Browns QB Johnny Manziel in an exhibition game – but was cut by the team during the final roster cuts. He was later picked up by the Dallas Cowboys and placed on their practice squad, but was released after a couple of weeks. He did not play in an NFL regular season game in 2014.