Was It Wrong For Tony Dungy To Say That He Wouldn’t Have Selected Michael Sam In The 2014 NFL Draft?
Tony Dungy is not a part of an NFL organization anymore. Instead, he works for NBC Sports as an analyst. So he no longer has to worry about which players he would and would not select in the NFL Draft every year. However, he’s still making headlines—lots and lots of headlines—right now after speaking with the Tampa Tribune recently and saying that, if it were up to him, he would not have selected Michael Sam in the 2014 NFL Draft. His reasoning? He feels as though Sam, who is the first openly gay player to take part in the NFL, is going to be too much of a distraction in the league.
“I wouldn’t have taken him,” Dungy said while speaking about Sam, who was ultimately selected by the St. Louis Rams in the draft. “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.”
To some degree, Dungy is right. Sam will be a distraction for the Rams this season, regardless of how much he actually plays or how well he performs. People are going to continue talking about Sam and monitoring the way he’s treated in the Rams’ locker room. But should Dungy have come out and said that he wouldn’t have drafted Sam essentially because of his sexuality? It’s rubbing a lot of people the wrong way and leading them to believe that Dungy—who has spoken out against gay marriage in the past—is trying to make a statement here by talking about how he wouldn’t have drafted Sam.
The truth is that Dungy wasn’t in a position to draft Sam in the first place, so he probably should have shied away from speaking out about the young man’s future in the league. We get it. Dungy is an analyst and he gets paid—and gets paid well—for giving his opinion on things. But this particular opinion has made him look bad and has thrust Sam back into the spotlight again for something that, truthfully, he shouldn’t be in the spotlight for.
How do you feel about Dungy’s comments? Did you agree with what he said, or do you think that he should avoid talking about Sam from now on?