Tennis great Martina Navratilova will
compete on the 14th season of ABC's Dancing with the
ABC announced the 12 competitors for
the upcoming season during Tuesday's Good Morning America.
The 55-year-old Navratilova will
compete against Jack Wagner, Melissa Gilbert, Donald Driver, Sherri
Shepherd, Gavin DeGraw, Roshon Fegan, Maria Menounos, Jaleel White,
Gladys Knight, William Levy, and Katherine Jenkins.
Navratilova, who dominated the women's
tennis circuit for more than a decade, racking up 18 Grand Slam wins
and a record 9 women's single titles at Wimbledon, came out gay in
1981. She is among a handful of openly gay sports figures.
In announcing the cast, GMA co-anchor
Robin Roberts noted that traditionally athletes enjoy an advantage on
“But tennis is all closed up. This
is all open. My hands are totally doing the wrong thing,”
Navratilova said. (The video is embedded in the right panel of this
our video library for more videos.)
The inclusion of two openly gay LGBT
contestants – Chaz Bono and Carson Kressley – last season created
Bono's inclusion in particular prompted
calls from social conservatives to boycott the show. Opponents
claimed children watching the show would be traumatized by watching
Bono, a transgender man, dancing on the reality show.
Kelly calls Keith Ablow's attack on Chaz Bono “irresponsible.”)
fourteenth season of Dancing with the Stars
premiers on Monday, March 19.