Boxing champ Laila Ali admits that the feats of derring-do on “Stars Earn Stripes” left her in tears.
The upcoming NBC series challenges eight celebrities “to execute complicated missions inspired by real military exercises,” the NBC site reads. Each star is partnered with a member of the Armed Forces, and the last team standing is awarded a cash prize that goes to charity.
Having birthed two babies and beaten opponents silly in the ring, it’s hard to imagine an obstacle course bringing Laila to tears, but the champ admitted she’s not a fan of such physical challenges.
“I wanted to say, ‘No. No. No. I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to do this, but I knew I couldn’t,’” Laila explained. “I don’t like to bungee jump. I don’t like to hang glide. I don’t like to put my life in other people’s hands and trust anybody.”
Laila said her reaction to the challenges was as much a surprise to her as anyone.
“When this happened I was on top of a repelling wall, and I didn’t even expect that I was going to get as scared as I did. I wasn’t nervous at all,” Laila told attendees at the Television Critics Association tour.
“That’s when the tears started pouring, but no, I’m not ashamed of it. Strong people do cry,” she said.
Actor Terry Crews is also participating in the show. The former athlete told “Access Hollywood,” “We did everything. We jumped off helicopters. We swam [wearing] full gear. We shot machineguns. We blew up buildings. We were doing everything and anything, and I have to say, I have an all-new respect for the military. It’s just incredible."
“Stars Earn Stripes” premieres Monday, August 13 at 8 p.m. EST. Watch a preview below.
Hear more of Laila’s saga below.
—Tracy L. Scott