Tony Dungy is one of the most well-respected people in the NFL. Unfortunately, that hasn’t prevented him from staying out of this firestorm.
Dungy caused a storm in a recent interview when he stated that he wouldn’t have drafted Michael Sam because of the distractions that come with him. Today, Dungy released a statement clarifying those remarks via ESPN:
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.
Dungy would also add that he believes Sam deserves an opportunity to play in the NFL and that his sexual orientation should play no part in his evaluation. He also said that he would have no issue if Sam were on his team.
It makes sense that Dungy would come out and try to calm down everything going on in the midst of his comments.
The fact is, Dungy never made any reference to Sam being gay in his comments, but rather said that the media coverage and distractions surrounding him were not worth drafting him. Especially as a seventh-round pick.
The coverage of this incident basically proved Dungy’s point as it is unlikely that any other player would have elicited the response that has come in regards to this statement. With Sam set to report to Rams training camp today, there will likely be more questions coming.