Before ‘Dancing with the Stars: Athletes,’ Johnny Damon was fired by Donald Trump on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’

Baseball star Johnny Damon has just been cast on “Dancing with the Stars: Athletes,” but he’s no stranger to reality television. While sports fans know Damon as a World Series champion with the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, reality TV devotees recognize him as being fired by Donald Trump on “Celebrity Apprentice.”

Damon came in fifth place on what turned out to be Trump’s final season hosting the show in 2015; Trump was later replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger when he ran for President of the United States. While Trump ultimately chose TV personality Leeza Gibbons as the winner of “Celebrity Apprentice,” Damon still earned high marks during his tenure on the show.

Damon won two tasks as project manager on “Celebrity Apprentice” — for creating a fitness magazine ad for “Cosmopolitan” and for producing an advertising campaign for King’s Hawaiian bread. He earned a total of $40,000 for his charity, The Johnny Damon Foundation, which aids programs that provide growth and leadership chances for disadvantaged youths.

Notably, Damon was fired along with his entire team as part of a boardroom bloodbath. His team failed miserably at a task involving creating and producing jingles for Budweiser’s margarita drinks. Besides Damon, Trump also fired actor Ian Ziering and “Real Housewife” Brandi Glanville. Damon’s specific reason for being fired was that Trump felt he wasn’t creative enough and didn’t put up a strong enough fight against project manager Glanville.

“I was definitely out of my comfort zone, especially when people were going back and forth,” Damon said after he was eliminated. “I was just trying to fly under the radar and, when it was my turn to be project manager, step up.” The 2015 season ended with actress Vivica A. Fox coming in third, journalist Geraldo Rivera coming in second, and Trump hiring Gibbons as the winner.

The 10 contestants for “Dancing with the Stars: Athletes” were announced live on Friday, April 13. The 26th season of ABC’s long-running dance competition starts on Monday, April 30. Damon will be paired with pro dancer Emma Slater, but who are the other celeb contestants? Click through our photo gallery below to familiarize yourself with the “DWTS” cast.

Be sure to make your predictions so that the contestants can see how they’re faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs every Monday on ABC. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and eternal bragging rights. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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