Recently, beloved NFL Coach and respected broadcaster Tony Dungy was asked for his opinion about the St. Louis Rams decision to draft the first openly gay football player, Michael Sam. Dungy, who is universally respected for his intellect and character responded with his open and honest opinio. Now he’s being vilified for giving his opinion.
Here’s what Dungy told the Tampa Tribune:
“I wouldn’t have taken him,’’ said former Bucs and Colts coach Tony Dungy, now an analyst for NBC. “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.’’
Just two short days (and a lot of hateful email) later, and Coach Dungy was working hard to clarify his remarks.
“I do not believe Michael’s sexual orientation will be a distraction to his teammates or his organization. I do, however, believe that the media attention that comes with it will be a distraction. Unfortunately we are all seeing this play out now, and I feel badly that my remarks played a role in the distraction. I wish Michael Sam nothing but the best in his quest to become a star in the NFL and I am confident he will get the opportunity to show what he can do on the field. My sincere hope is that we will be able to focus on his play and not on his sexual orientation.”
Joe Concha at Mediaite has a great handle on what is really going on here…
A role model.
A mentor to players who find trouble in need of redemption.
And now, simply for sharing his honest perspective on whether he would draft the NFL’s first openly gay player… Dungy (a former Super Bowl winning coach and currently an NBC Sports analyst) is now a pariah. A homophobe. Another toilet bug to the Twitter mob and to those who claim tolerance in supporting gay rights only to be completely intolerant towards anyone who voices an opposing view or anything that resembles not being in lock-step with the desired narrative.
Since it’s 2014, before continuing this commentary I’m now obligated to state my position on gay marriage and the movement in general (to avoid being placed in the same shame corner Dungy is sitting in now).