LOS ANGELES – Football player Michael Sam was eliminated from “Dancing with the Stars” after performing an emotional dance based on how his father wouldn’t accept him as gay.
On “DWTS’” “My Most Memorable Year” night, Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team, told viewers how his dad, Michael Sam Sr. had abandoned his family.
After college, Sam said he gave his father a second chance but Sam Sr. wrecked everything in 2014 when the athlete came out as gay -- and then his father expressed shame about it.
Among other things, Sam Sr. told the New York Times he didn’t want his grandkids “raised in that kind of environment,” and “I’m old school. I’m a man-and-a-woman type of guy.”
On “DWTS,” Sam said he’d told his dad, “You lost a son again.” He added, “I haven’t talked to him since.”
Sam and pro partner Peta Murgatroyd then pointedly danced rumba to “Not My Father’s Son” from the musical Kinky Boots; he cried at the end.
Although Sam got his highest score all season, 30 out of 40, he was sent packing at the end of the show.
He told FOX411 backstage of his dance aimed at his father, “It wasn’t tough at all. I’m glad I got to share a moment and have my best scores. It was a powerful moment and I’m glad I got to share it with everybody.”
When asked why his father turned his back on him, Sam said, “It sucks but you know, I can’t speak for my father, only he can -- so I can only speak for myself.”
The football player said his philosophy is to “always put a smile on your face no matter what” and he claimed not to be upset about the “DWTS” results because “I had a great time. I’m so blessed to have a girl like Peta to be my dance partner. I wanted the trophy for her but I had a blast. I have no complaints.”
Sam is still trying to get back into professional football after being cut by the Rams.
He said he hasn’t yet made wedding plans with fiancé Vito Cammisano but might do so next year.
Most likely, Sam didn’t follow in the footsteps of such previous “DWTS” football star winners as Emmitt Smith and Donald Driver because his week three salsa flopped.
Monday’s elimination was based on viewer votes and judges’ scores from last week, when he and Mugatroyd danced off the beat and only earned 24 points.
Sam noted at the time, “We messed up.”
But Monday, Murgatroyd insisted their last dance was “a perfect end actually, because we had our highest score. He left on a really beautiful, bright note and a great message for our audience. I couldn’t be happier for him.”
As Sam left the ballroom, his “DWTS” co-stars said they’d miss him.
Rumer Willis told FOX411, “It’s really tough when you have a night when you do a fantastic job and that [elimination] happens but I’m really happy he had the ability to share his story and people could see [it]. I think he’s incredibly brave.”