The Story Behind Michael Sam's Emotional Final Dancing with the Stars Performance
Sam opened up about his estranged father, who he claims does not accept him for being gay
The theme was “my most memorable year,” and, like Rumer Willis, Sam’s most memorable year was 2014. It was the year he came out as gay, and the year he and his father stopped speaking for the second time in their tumultuous relationship.
Sam’s dance, a rumba performed with Peta Murgatroyd to “I’m Not My Father’s Son,” was not met well by the judges from a technical standpoint – the pair received a 30 out of 40. However, judge Bruno Tonioli praised Sam, 25, for his “guts”: “Your voice is very important, and I guarantee you, it’s helped a lot of people.” Carrie Ann Inaba echoed the sentiment, telling Sam that “Dance is so much more than movement.”
“I don’t want my grandkids raised in that kind of environment,” Michael Sam Sr. was quoted as saying in a New York Times profile of the football player after he came out as gay. “I’m old-school,” he added. “I’m a man-and-a-woman kind of guy.”
Sam Sr. had once abandoned the family, according to his son, but on DWTS, the football player revealed that he was the one to cut off communication this time following his father’s reaction to the news. “You lost a son again,” he told his father, adding that he hadn’t talked to him since.
Following the release of the New York Times profile, Sam Sr. insisted that he had been “terribly misquoted. My son did the right thing, and I am not against him at all,” he told Galveston County’s Daily News. “He has made a great statement in coming out. I love him unconditionally,” he said, adding that “Once [Sam] gets on the field and hits [someone] once, they won’t think he’s gay.”
However, the Times responded to Sam Sr.’s claims, according to NBC Sports, insisting that they quoted Sam Sr. “accurately and fairly.”
Murky familial circumstances aside, Sam told Access Hollywood following his elimination, “I thought my last dance was my best dance, and I would like to leave on my best dance instead of my horrible dance.”