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07/21/2014

NBC analyst Tony Dungy says he wouldn't have drafted Michael Sam

by Jeremy Hooper

As he was winding up his time as an NFL coach but before he started working as a sportscaster, Tony Dungy did a brief spell as a socially conservative activist. This included speaking to groups like the Indiana Family Institute and insisting he was on "the Lord's side" in opposing marriage equality:

He also tweeted that he "was disappointed [President Obama] veered from biblical view" when he came out in support of marriage equality. Not sure if Mr. Dungy realizes we're talking about civil marriage and not religious ceremony, but I digress.

His expressed view being what it is, I can't say I'm surprised to learn that the NBC football analyst feels how he feels about openly gay draftee Michael Sam. I am a little surprised that he's choosing to publicly state it:

“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.’’

FULL: NFL holding players to higher standard [Tampa Tribune]

Yeah? "[T]hings will happen," Tony? You mean the kinds of things that can and do bring harm to gay people largely because of the climate and fear and hostility created by people who lash out against our basic civil rights? Those kinds of "things," coach?

And what's the "all of it" that you wouldn't want to deal with, coach? The outsized attention? The new fans? The increased interest? The right side of history? Or simply the fortitude of a human player who lives his human truth? Which part of Michael Sam's "all" is problematic for you, Mr. Dungy?

I mean, we all know the answer. I'd just like to hear you admit it. And no hiding behind "the lord" this time, big guy.

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