Shaquille O'Neal DJ Diesel

Professional athletes who are also electronic dance music enthusiasts

Too many people fall into the trap of believing professional athletes don’t care much about anything that happens off the field, court, pitch, rink, whatever. Sure, they know they have families and friends who take priority, but not much thought is given to their hobbies and interests outside of sports.

This narrow-minded view is neither uncommon nor easy to avoid. Sports are thrown at us everywhere, in every which way. Professional athletes are 24/7 entertainers. They’re also investments, not just for their teams, but for those who watch the games and matches. Fans get emotionally invested as they follow and root for their favorite stars and franchises. They also have financial interests if they wager on events.

The latter happens all over, in all different forms. From U.S. online sportsbooks to Canadian sports betting options to sports betting abroad, outside North America, to fantasy sports betting, the gambling industry is so accessible that anyone can have a financial stake in a certain player or team. That, in turn, can leave people with blinders on. They might think professional athletes focus on their craft—their job—and that alone.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Sports stars have hobbies just like the rest of us. They can be more lucrative, because they have the money to bankroll expensive extracurricular activities, but they are still human beings at heart.

These, let’s call them, off-the-field interests manifest most commonly in music. Nearly every professional athlete is into some form of it. They have a lot of free time on their hands, and the nature of their job also invites them to use headphones and lock in while practicing.

Some professional athletes take this affinity for music to the next level. Many sing on the side, recording albums and all. In the case of electronic music enthusiasts, they might attend festivals. Some will even learn how to DJ themselves.

Obviously, the professional athletes with a proclivity for electronic music tunes catch our attention. They should catch yours, too. So much time is already dedicated to those who record their own hip hop, rap or R&B albums. Less space is given to big sports names who truly enjoy listening—and sometimes creating—the genre of music you can really rock out and rave to.

Fear not, though. That’s why we’re here: to highlight those exact athletes.

Ezekiel Elliott (NFL)

There might not be an active professional athlete who has shown more interest in the electronic music scene than Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. In the past, he has attended major concerts and festivals like it’s a second job.

Who knows, maybe you’ve been at a Steve Aioki show and heard him shout-out Elliott. Because that has happened, a sign of just how often Elliott can be found at these events.

Rony Seikaly (NBA)

Rony Seikaly has carved out a name for himself within electronic music circles since retiring from basketball, which he played professionally both in the NBA and at an international level. Yes, that means he’s a fan of the genre. That’s not all he is, though.

Correct: Seikaly is a DJ. And he has headlined actual gigs. He was on stage at Burning Man, has hosted a radio show and just generally played at some of the biggest-name clubs around the globe.

Jurgen Locadia (Football)

On the field, Jurgen Locadia is an effective striker and wing for FC Cincinnati of MLS. Off it, he’s an active electronic music artist.

Though Locadia has not released entire albums, he has put out more than a dozen singles. He’s also known to have ties with bigwigs like Diplo and Major Lazer. Which, wow.

Trevor May (MLB)

Trevor May has thus far made his living as a right-handed pitcher for the Minnesota Twins—he’s currently a free agent—but electronic music is a passion project he pursues ambitiously on the side.

And we mean ambitiously.

May has released a bunch of his own songs on his personal SoundCloud, some of which have garnered thousands of listens.

Rob Gronkowski (NFL)

Okay, we take back Ezekiel Elliott’s crown. Rob Gronkowski might be the athlete who supports dance music the most.

It isn’t clear how often Gronkowski attends events now that he’s on the other side of 30, but as recently as one year ago, he was known to host shows and parties as the hype man. He has also been seen living it up on stage with Marshmello and Steve Aoki.

Shaquille O’Neal (NBA)

Shaquille O’Neal’s post-NBA career has treated him well. He’s a studio host with TNT, minority owner in the Sacramento Kings and a wildly sought after DJ.

The Big Aristotle has been known to post mixes and videos of him performing onto his social media. But he’s not just spinning it in the privacy of his own home. He has played shows with large crowds—including one that took place to kick NBA All-Star Weekend and was aired on television for viewers around the world


Image Credit: Stephen Bondio for Insomniac Events

Acting as the CEO and founder of the site, the highly successful entrepreneur soon saw his team grow meteorically under his stewardship, amassing more than 1 million followers across the brand’s platforms. In addition, working with esteemed global entities such as Tomorrowland, AMF, EXIT Festival, Ushuaïa, Hï Ibiza, Parookaville and many others festivals and clubs aswell as some of the world’s most reputable record labels, artists and agencies.

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