Recently, Tony Dungy, the former head coach of the Indianapolis Colts and current NFL analyst, was asked some questions about drafting players into the NFL and the subject of Michael Sam came up. If you'll remember, Michael Sam is the openly gay player drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the recent draft out of the University of Missouri.
Here's what Tony Dungy had to say about drafting Michael Sam:
The Rams strode into the national spotlight by drafting Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, who will become the NFL’s first openly gay player if he makes Jeff Fisher’s final roster after reporting with St. Louis rookies Tuesday.
“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.’’
There's been a ton of discussion about his comments recently, mostly from people taking issue with them. Dungy attempted to clear up his comments recently as well which actually caused a bit more controversy. While Dungy stated that he feels that Sam deserves an opportunity to play in the NFL, he feels as if his presence would create a huge distraction for everybody else.
Here's the thing, I get what he was attempting to say. ATTEMPTING. Michael Sam, unfortunately, brings a circus with him. Not on purpose, and its not his fault. I'm sure he'd love to just hit the field and show and prove and it be just another day in the projects. But the idea of an openly gay NFL player is salacious enough to the media outlets that this is going to be a story that will have legs even when legs don't exist.
Of course, Sam did attempt to do the docu-series thing with the Oprah Winfrey Network but the series has been postponed so as to not serve as a distraction.
But there's really no way to say that you wouldn't draft a player - presuming that you could use him - because you wouldn't want to deal with the media fanfare that comes from him living his life out in the open and being true to himself. It sounds very unsupportive. I mean, think about if every team coach felt that same way and had the power to make those decisions. Michael Sam wouldn't get the opportunity in that case. Dungy is, of course, entitled to his opinion and he was being honest. But it really just sounds like he's saying he wouldn't want to deal with Sam's gayness and all that comes along with it. Even if he didn't use those words, that's exactly how it comes off. And there's no way to ever say something like that and it sound okay.
I honestly don't even know how I personally feel about that comment. I was happy to see Sam get drafted and I wish him well, much like I wish most draftees well. So I will toss it to you…
…what did you think of Dungy's comments? Are they worthy of the scrutiny they've received? Did he say anything wrong?
Controversy or Non-troversy?