Michael Sam is trading his cleats for dancing shoes. The NFL defensive end, currently a free agent after he was waived by the Dallas Cowboys during his rookie season, has agreed to compete on the next season of Dancing With the Stars. However Sam, who became the first openly gay player to be drafted into the NFL last May, says he is working to return to the NFL.
He wrote in an essay for Sports Ilustrated last week, "Through all the ups and downs, though, I’ve remained focused on getting back on an NFL roster. It’s why I get up early every morning and push myself at the gym, and why I’m looking to participate in the first-ever NFL Veterans Combine this winter." As Bleacher Report points out, the first-ever Veteran Combine is scheduled for March 22, which is just six days after the premiere of Dancing With the Stars.
Also joining the cast is soul legend Patti LaBelle, 70, who is known for iconic songs like "Lady Marmalade," "New Attitude" and "You Are My Friend." LaBelle will surely bring her signature style and personality to the dance floor.
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(Photos from left: Jason Merritt/Getty Images for GQ, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)