What Tony Dungy said wasn’t wrong. It’s a legitimate concern that every team had to ponder leading up to the draft. Michael Sam’s sexual orientation is a story that the media will follow and it can be a distraction. Plus, there was that Oprah show that was supposed to happen. Running a team is tough enough and with distractions, it gets tougher. This wasn’t Dungy saying he was against who Sam is. This is just Dungy looking big picture as a coach. I don’t find fault in what Dungy thinks because he’s right. It’s just that at this time, it was just bad timing. Say it a year from now, maybe the reaction would be different. But now, it’s a tough one to accept. I get what he said, but I don’t think he should have said it. At least not now.
Of course, I think if another former coach said this, that would be a different story. But this is Tony Dungy the mentor, the religious man, the minority coach. He should get it and feel for everyone and treat them the same, right? It’s just tough for him because he’s no ordinary former football coach. Then again, this is no ordinary situation either.
Super Bowl winning coach and current NBC analyst Tony Dungy told The Tampa Bay Tribune he wouldn’t have taken Michael Sam in the draft because of the potential distractions that will come from Sam being the first openly gay player on a NFL roster.
“I wouldn’t have taken him. Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it. […] It’s not going to be totally smooth … things will happen.”
Given Dungy’s 2007 support of an Indiana group hoping to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, some took the quotes as a repudiation of Sam’s sexuality. Others pointed out the hypocrisy of Dungy supporting Michael Vick after the quarterback was released from federal prison on dog fighting…
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