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Vince Lombardi accepted gay players on his team

vincelombardi Getty Images

The ongoing debate about how a gay NFL player would be treated in the locker room has largely focused on the idea that times are changing, and that acceptance of a gay player would be a modern development. But it’s often overlooked that the ultimate example of the old-school football coach was also perfectly fine with having gay players on his team.

Multiple players who played for Vince Lombardi, the legendary former Packers and Redskins coach, say that he knew some of his players were gay, and that not only did he not have a problem with it, but he went out of his way to make sure no one else on his team would make it a problem.

In 1969, Lombardi’s Redskins included a running back named Ray McDonald, who in 1968 had been arrested for having sex with another man in public. In the Lombardi biography When Pride Still Mattered, author David Maraniss writes that Lombardi told his assistants he wanted them to work with McDonald to help him make the team, “And if I hear one of you people make reference to his manhood, you’ll be out of here before your ass hits the ground.”

Lombardi’s daughter Susan told Ian O’Connor of ESPNNewYork.com that her father would have been thrilled to have a player like Jason Collins, the NBA center who publicly revealed this week that he is gay.

My father was way ahead of his time,” Susan Lombardi said. “He was discriminated against as a dark-skinned Italian American when he was younger, when he felt he was passed up for coaching jobs that he deserved. He felt the pain of discrimination, and so he raised his family to accept everybody, no matter what color they were or whatever their sexual orientation was. I think it’s great what Jason Collins did, because it’s going to open a lot of doors for people. Without a doubt my father would’ve embraced him, and would’ve been very proud of him for coming out.”

Dave Kopay, the first former NFL player to come out, also played on those 1969 Redskins, and he says that while he never told Lombardi, he believes Lombardi knew not only that Kopay was gay, but that Kopay and another Redskins player, Jerry Smith, were in a romantic relationship.

“Lombardi protected and loved Jerry,” Kopay told O’Connor.

Lombardi’s brother Harold was gay, and when Harold died in July of 2011 he was survived by his partner of 41 years — meaning their relationship began just before Vince died in September of 1970. As noted by Doug Farrar of Yahoo! Sports, Vince knew Harold was gay and didn’t just believe in “tolerance” but believed strongly that discrimination against gay people was wrong, just as he was angered when he saw mistreatment of his black players, or discrimination against his fellow Italian-Americans.

If a coach who was considered old-fashioned even by the standards of the 1960s accepted gay players in his locker room, the idea that gay players couldn’t be accepted in an NFL locker room in 2013 is both silly and sad.

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100 Responses to “Vince Lombardi accepted gay players on his team”
  1. logicalvoicesays says: May 3, 2013 2:43 PM

    Top 5 HCs in Professional football history – Vince Lombardi, Joe Gibbs, Chuck Noll, George Allen and Mike Shanahan. In that order.

  2. djstickypants says: May 3, 2013 2:44 PM

    Awesome. Just proves again what a great dude he was.

  3. barrywhererufrom says: May 3, 2013 2:48 PM

    If I remember correctly Lomabardi’s brother was gay. I am sure that had to do with his thinking too.

  4. Carl Gerbschmidt says: May 3, 2013 2:48 PM

    I think we should all take a moment to think quietly about the lasting legacy this coach and team have left on the NFL. Through their work both on and off the field.

    Go. Pack. Go.

  5. jt1138 says: May 3, 2013 2:48 PM

    Just another way the greatest football coach ever helped progress the game.

  6. barrywhererufrom says: May 3, 2013 2:50 PM

    How about his for a news flash..they probaly are accepted right now. I really think this is made a bigger thing than it is. And I should of read the whole article before I made my first post :)

  7. filthymcnasty1 says: May 3, 2013 2:50 PM

    The Giants passed over Lombardi once because he was an Italian, and thus Vince was very sensitive to any discrimination. Those were different times.

    The Giants later understood that they blew it, and tried to hire him.

  8. shaggytoodle says: May 3, 2013 2:52 PM

    I would say he is a Top 5 Head Coach in sports history.

  9. edithpiaf51 says: May 3, 2013 2:52 PM

    That is awesome. For such an old school guy he sure was ahead of his time and knew how great diversity and acceptance of all really is. He appreciated all people. What a great person.

  10. lks311 says: May 3, 2013 2:53 PM

    logicalvoicesays says:
    May 3, 2013 2:43 PM
    Top 5 HCs in Professional football history – Vince Lombardi, Joe Gibbs, Chuck Noll, George Allen and Mike Shanahan. In that order.
    ______
    First, Lombardi…awesome.

    Second, talking about thinly veiled agendas. How the heck did Chuck Knoll get in their with the other four former/current Washington Coaches? He musta been a former assistant or something.

  11. rpiotr01 says: May 3, 2013 2:53 PM

    Lombardi represents everything that’s great about the game.

  12. j0esixpack says: May 3, 2013 2:54 PM

    Cool.

    Let’s hope the resident PFT (and PBT/HBT) gay bashers who use gay-slurs as put-downs take note that Lombardi himself would have given them a piece of his mind.

  13. vikesandravens78 says: May 3, 2013 2:55 PM

    As a diehard Vikings fan, I’ve got nothing but respect for Mr. Lombardi. He’s one of those great football minds that you can’t help but admire. Truly awesome to read that he placed his players and the team above everything else.

    Plus, his “What the hell is going on out here?!” soundclip is absolute gold.

  14. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: May 3, 2013 2:55 PM

    So it sounds like Ray McDonald was the first openly gay player. Can we drop it now, please?

  15. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: May 3, 2013 2:57 PM

    Carl Gerbschmidt says:May 3, 2013 2:48 PM

    I think we should all take a moment to think quietly about the lasting legacy this coach and team have left on the NFL. Through their work both on and off the field.
    _______

    Didn’t realize you were such a Redskins fan.

  16. humblefollowerofjesuschrist says: May 3, 2013 2:59 PM

    Such liberal writers on this site. If someone such a Mike Wallace says he don’t understand it or someone states they are for traditional marriage then they are boneheads. If another likes gay marriage or is gay, they get praise. Is PFT biased?

  17. BringBackTheFlex says: May 3, 2013 3:03 PM

    Damn. My sports window is getting smaller and smaller.

    I think Gibbs should rank as the best NFL Coach in history, followed by Parcells. Gibbs won with three different style teams, with three different mediocre QBs, over a long period of time. If QB is the most important position then you have to acknowledge the quality of coaching it takes to get SB wins out of Rypien, Theisman, and Williams – none of whom will ever be HoF members.

    Most coaches with multiple SB wins have only done it with the same QB. Only Gibbs, Parcells, and Seifert have done it with different QBs. And only Parcells and Gibbs have done it without HoF QBs.

  18. jrmbadger says: May 3, 2013 3:04 PM

    Lombardi refused to tolerate racial discrimination as well.

    He didn’t view his players as black or white but Packer Green.

    He told his team that if any of them were prejudiced that he would kick them off the team.

    He told all the local establishments that if black and white players alike were not welcome, then that establishment would be considered off limits to the entire team.

    while this concept is commonplace today, back then it was not.

    Lambeau field is located on Lombardi Avenue with a HUGE statute of Vince in front. The reason for that is not just the success he had on the field, but the character he brought to it.

  19. edithpiaf51 says: May 3, 2013 3:07 PM

    You said “Such liberal writers on this site. If someone such a Mike Wallace says he don’t understand it or someone states they are for traditional marriage then they are boneheads. If another likes gay marriage or is gay, they get praise. Is PFT biased?”

    First of all the true meaning of liberal is classic liberalism which is one who believes in free market (the opposite of the american meaning of intrusion by the state). I thhink you mean progressive. Also, it is not bias and as a professor of business who is a socal scientist, I can attest it is not a bias. It is an acceptance of difference. Anyone who is accepting of all people is praised and Vince Lombardi is such a person. He did not care if you were gay, straight, had a disability, or about the colour of your skin. All he cared about was the merits of your abilities and character and what you broughtto his team. A person that is for traditional marriage is not considered a bonehead unless they criticise others for their non-traditional marriage. If the person is accepting of all people and situations, they are not considerd a bonehead. Only a close-minded jugemental person is considered a bonehead. I hope this clarifies this for you.

  20. ninerfan94954 says: May 3, 2013 3:07 PM

    There was also an incident in a southern town during the exhibition season that the hotel owner wanted black players to stay at a segregated hotel. Apparently this was around midnight, he woke everyone up and the team left the hotel en masse.

  21. mk610 says: May 3, 2013 3:08 PM

    Should be remembered that Lombardi was from the Northeast, and was not a bible thumper. Sorry to say, I think these two factors helped him to be more tolerant.

  22. krank00 says: May 3, 2013 3:08 PM

    I never fully understood the statement “what the hell is going on out there” until right now.

  23. humblefollowerofjesuschrist says: May 3, 2013 3:08 PM

    It appears its followers are too. By the way, Lombardi never had the class and morale as Tom Landry did. Winning football games are important but there is a bigger objective.

  24. sdiegosteel says: May 3, 2013 3:09 PM

    I’ve never respected Lombardi as much as I do right now. It’s great when great coaches (Dean Smith, Don Haskins, Lombardi, etc) are also great men.

  25. humblefollowerofjesuschrist says: May 3, 2013 3:14 PM

    What is socal scientist? Would you like me to find past articles and email to you? You then can read and interpret for yourself. Do you think that God is closed minded that his word states against this? Since he is the creator and we are the creation, I feel he has that right.

  26. rickspielmanisamagicianthebusybody says: May 3, 2013 3:20 PM

    Rick Spielman is a Magician says:May 3, 2013 2:57 PM

    Carl Gerbschmidt says:May 3, 2013 2:48 PM

    I think we should all take a moment to think quietly about the lasting legacy this coach and team have left on the NFL. Through their work both on and off the field.
    _______

    Didn’t realize you were such a Redskins fan.
    ———–

    I guess you didn’t know, Lombardi’s first head coaching job was with the Green Bay Packers. I have to say, I’m not totally surprised, but no worries, now you do!

  27. edithpiaf51 says: May 3, 2013 3:24 PM

    You asked “What is socal scientist? Would you like me to find past articles and email to you? You then can read and interpret for yourself. Do you think that God is closed minded that his word states against this? Since he is the creator and we are the creation, I feel he has that right.”

    A social scientist is one who is a professorn researchern and academician of the social sciences (business, political science, economics, anthropology etc). I never said that God was close-minded but now if you read Leviticus, it says a man should not lay next to another man IN VAIN meaning that do not do it just for the sake of doing it, it does not mean tha tGod is anti gay. No one has the right to tell someone who to love. Vince Lombardi knew that and he judged his players on the merits of their play and not on who they love.

  28. stanklepoot says: May 3, 2013 3:26 PM

    humblefollowerofjesuschrist says: May 3, 2013 2:59 PM

    Such liberal writers on this site. If someone such a Mike Wallace says he don’t understand it or someone states they are for traditional marriage then they are boneheads. If another likes gay marriage or is gay, they get praise. Is PFT biased?
    _______________________________

    1.It’s not just a liberal thing. There are quite a few conservatives out there that are uncomfortable with some of the anti-gay comments some of their colleagues have made.

    2. Personally, I’d never attack Wallace’s statement if all he said is he doesn’t get it. As I straight guy, I can’t claim to fully get it either. As someone who believes in equality and tries to be open minded, however, I assume that those feelings are pretty much the same as those I have for women.

    3. This whole focus on protecting “traditional” marriage as a reason to ban gay marriage kind of irks me. For much of human history, traditional marriages meant: arranged marriages, marriages that paired 13 or 14 year old girls with men in their 30s, marriages that paired people more closely related than what is legally allowed now, and any number of other things that I’m sure very few Americans would think deserve to be protected…or even allowed. The simple fact that something is traditional or an accepted practice does not mean that it should be preserved, and it certainly doesn’t mean that it alone should be preserved.

    It’s not about liking gay marriage, it’s about recognizing that love is love, and not accepting the idea that anyone should be treated like they are less than anyone else because they are born different. Furthermore, no one is being praised for being gay. They’re being praised for refusing to hide who they are out of fear that their careers will be ruined and that they’ll be ostracized. I don’t know about you, but I was raised to respect courage in all its forms.

  29. bigbenh8tr says: May 3, 2013 3:27 PM

    Shannahan sucks. Owes Elway his career

  30. itooamamerica says: May 3, 2013 3:30 PM

    “Should be remembered that Lombardi was from the Northeast, and was not a bible thumper. Sorry to say, I think these two factors helped him to be more tolerant.”

    Actually, Vince Lombardi was certainly extremely religious, enough where he enrolled in a school to become a priest.

  31. castleofcheese says: May 3, 2013 3:31 PM

    humblefollowerofjesuschrist says:

    May 3, 2013 3:14 PM
    What is socal scientist? Would you like me to find past articles and email to you? You then can read and interpret for yourself. Do you think that God is closed minded that his word states against this? Since he is the creator and we are the creation, I feel he has that right.
    ———————–
    I’d like to know where Santa Claus stands on this topic… maybe the tooth fairy too lol.

  32. Logicalvoice says: May 3, 2013 3:33 PM

    Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    May 3, 2013 2:48 PM
    I think we should all take a moment to think quietly about the lasting legacy this coach and team have left on the NFL. Through their work both on and off the field.

    *******************************

    Carl, usually I just see you as a guy who enjoys ragging on the Vikings. And a such I write you off and ignore you. However I agree with you about Lombardi. He was a great coach and a class act.

    I wish you could be more open minded and more respectful as Lombardi himself was.

  33. prmpft says: May 3, 2013 3:35 PM

    I am saying this is a boldface LIE! It is very easy to say someone said something – that is how lies get rolling – until I hear the MAN say it – it is a LIE!

  34. thebigtim2012 says: May 3, 2013 3:35 PM

    First off how did a post on tolerance start delving into a debate on all time head coaches? Please when ever logical says something just do the right thing and ignore it he is just a troll looking to get a rise out of people. Moron. Second off I’m sure there has been a lot of “locker room” openly gay players. As much time as these guys spend together that would be a pretty hard thing to hide. I love how everybody is talking about how great Collins is but nobody is mentioning the poor woman he strung along for 12 years as his fiancé. She’s now 38 and probably can’t have children now because of how much of her life she wasted waiting for Collins to marry her and start a family. Good for him for coming out but that guy ruined that woman’s life. Lombardi class. Collins punk. While his “career” is over he comes out gay. Maybe the two aren’t connected but I see it as a way to stay relevant and get some more checks. Hope I’m wrong.

  35. briang123 says: May 3, 2013 3:36 PM

    Let’s not forget he put out word that any establishment in Green Bay that did not serve African-American players would be off-limits to anyone associated with the Packers.

  36. wolfiereasonedlife says: May 3, 2013 3:36 PM

    edithpiaf51 says: May 3, 2013 2:52 PM

    That is awesome. For such an old school guy he sure was ahead of his time and knew how great diversity and acceptance of all really is. He appreciated all people. What a great person.
    __________________________________
    I find it amazing that more than zero people took the time to read the article, registered or logged in to click a thumbs down for edithpiaf51’s post or similar ones to it.
    There is something seriously broken in many people that try to hide bigotry in their humor or tough guy internet personas. Mostly it’s just sad. RIP Vince.

  37. clk320cpe says: May 3, 2013 3:36 PM

    If we are rating NFL coaches, we cannot leave Bill Walsh off the list. Also was glad to see Chuck Noll mentioned, he is always left off lists like that & it’s seriously wrong.

    Gibbs doing it with 3 different QB’s really was & is HUGE! Especially with Rypien who really was a guy that had 1 amazing year & one ok year & the rest were putrid.

    I know neither one won anything but Bud Grant & Marv Levy deserve honorable mention as well. To go 4 times to the SB is worth mention. Bud did it 4 times in 8 years & of course Marv went 4 years in a row. Landry & BB round out the list as 5 trips are also worth mention.

    Bottom line is: Vince was the absolute best Coach & leader of men in NFL history. To read this story just proves what an amazing, special guy he was.

  38. edithpiaf51 says: May 3, 2013 3:37 PM

    To the person that said Shannahaan sucks, as a long-term Broncos fan, he was an excellent coach and gave 21 good years to the Broncos organisation, until the CEO fired him. Yes Elway was great, no doubt, he got 2 Superbowl rings for the Broncos in a row, but Shannahan also had a good hold on his team as well. I believe he is one of the better coaches in the league.

  39. crownofthehelmet says: May 3, 2013 3:37 PM

    He’d be very proud to know his current team is fulfilling that tradition by playing like a bunch of girls.

  40. whatjusthapped says: May 3, 2013 3:38 PM

    Lombardi was way ahead of his time. He worked with local business owners in Green Bay to secure half decent apartments that the black players could rent. He also worked with one of the black players who feared that marrying a white woman would have negative consequences, Lombardi blessed the marriage and went out of his way to make sure it wasn’t a problem with any of his Packer teammates.

    I’m sure he would have gone out of his way to support anyone who is gay, hell, he was even seen being nice to a Viking fan.

  41. clk320cpe says: May 3, 2013 3:40 PM

    Forgot Don Shula, 4 trips – 2 Lombardi’s. He deserves props.

  42. humblefollowerofjesuschrist says: May 3, 2013 3:41 PM

    Edith:

    If you look in Romans, the bible says: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly.

    It is obvious that this is sin in the sight of God.

    Castle of Cheese:

    You are comparing God, your creator; to Santa Claus. It is obvious you have no fear of the Lord. You are more than likely atheist as you think he is a fictional character.
    Think about this verse.

    Psalm 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.

    Please think about your decisions from this point forward.

  43. davikes says: May 3, 2013 3:41 PM

    I didn’t know about Vince’s belief in equal rights until today, but given his success it does not surprise me. It must have meant a lot to his team in that day to have a leader like that. Packer fans and football fans in general should be very proud of him. Unfortunately, he died way too early at only age 57.

    (Yes I am a Vikings fan. But I think the Pack has deserved everything they have won over the years, and it’s great to be able to have a rivalry with a great team. And until the Vike’s manage to win the —-ing superbowl, what else can I say.)

  44. staff2cj4td says: May 3, 2013 3:44 PM

    The Packers…………now the name makes sense!

  45. stanklepoot says: May 3, 2013 3:45 PM

    itooamamerica says: May 3, 2013 3:30 PM

    “Should be remembered that Lombardi was from the Northeast, and was not a bible thumper. Sorry to say, I think these two factors helped him to be more tolerant.”

    Actually, Vince Lombardi was certainly extremely religious, enough where he enrolled in a school to become a priest.
    _________________________________
    It’s unfortunate that this would be a surprise to a number of people. The truth is, I and many others believe that, as Christians, we should actually follow the teachings of Christ to the best of our ability.

    @humblefollower Please, go back and take another look at the New Testament, focusing on what are reported to be the teachings of Christ. Conservatives can most likely claim Jesus on the abortion issue, but in pretty much every other way Jesus is (in modern political terms) a liberal.

  46. purple28mvp says: May 3, 2013 3:45 PM

    That just means he would except Aaron & Clay thats pretty cool

  47. 8to80texansblog says: May 3, 2013 3:46 PM

    logicalvoicesays says:
    May 3, 2013 2:43 PM
    Top 5 HCs in Professional football history – Vince Lombardi, Joe Gibbs, Chuck Noll, George Allen and Mike Shanahan. In that order.

    =======================

    C’mon… We all know your real list of top 5 coaches is

    Tom Landry
    Jimmy Johnson
    Barry Switzer
    Bill Parcells
    Hank Stram

  48. madtownthrowdown says: May 3, 2013 3:49 PM

    Home is where you make it!

  49. ninersreciognizebch says: May 3, 2013 3:54 PM

    I wish Aaron Rogers would just come out the closet already so we can all move on

  50. dolphinmichael says: May 3, 2013 3:58 PM

    First off, I can’t believe that any mention of the greatest coaches in NFL history would leave out Don Shula. Guess that’s the burden he has to carry for being the ONLY coach to have an undefeated season capped off with the Lombardi trophy.

    And why does it seem that many followers of Jesus Christ, humble or not, are the most intolerant? Where does Jesus say that it’s OK to discriminate against anyone? I’m not asking where in the Bible does it say it’s OK to discriminate, but where does Jesus Himself say it’s OK to discriminate? And who here (or anywhere) says they are against traditional marriage? I’m all for anyone getting married, be it straight or gay. I mean, why shouldn’t gay couples be just as miserable as the straight couples?

  51. 8to80texansblog says: May 3, 2013 4:02 PM

    humblefollowerofjesuschrist says:
    May 3, 2013 3:08 PM
    It appears its followers are too. By the way, Lombardi never had the class and morale as Tom Landry did. Winning football games are important but there is a bigger objective.

    ============================

    Are you trying to say that football should “save” people….

  52. xcerebus1 says: May 3, 2013 4:03 PM

    Lombardi would have been thrilled to have a journeyman fill in player? This guy is so mediocre that almost every team he played for no one even remembers him, but now that he’s gay, he’s a superstar.

  53. filthymcnasty1 says: May 3, 2013 4:05 PM

    davikes says: May 3, 2013 3:41 PM

    (Yes I am a Vikings fan. But I think the Pack has deserved everything they have won over the years, and it’s great to be able to have a rivalry with a great team. And until the Vike’s manage to win the —-ing superbowl, what else can I say.)

    ************************************************

    Wait just a minute. So you’re choosing not to whine, stomp your feet and lash out in anger?

    And you’re really a Viking fan?

  54. marima07 says: May 3, 2013 4:06 PM

    This is exactly why it doesn’t have to be a freaking big-media-deal for professional atheletes to have a public coming out party.

    If the great Lombardi handled it so well in-house, then isn’t it possible that other coaches are too, and have been doing just that for years?

    Some players are natural attention-seekers for whatever reason and that’s fine. Other players don’t seek the spotlight for themselves and just want to do their job without individual publicity.

    For some to assume it’s selfish for them not to come out publicly, or think it’s a league problem that they don’t choose to come out that way is just wrong.

  55. onebucplace says: May 3, 2013 4:07 PM

    Thus the reason Lombardi made up the whole backstory about the ‘Packers’ name being tied to “meat” packers. He get it.

  56. musicman495 says: May 3, 2013 4:09 PM

    We would be remiss if we did not also observe that Vince Lombardi was a devout Catholic who went to mass daily for most of his life. Clearly, whatever respect for human beings that he learned as a man and as a Catholic did not leave him when he left the church sanctuary.

  57. seaeagle707 says: May 3, 2013 4:09 PM

    But, as was pointed out in the article, Lombardi didn’t want any of his staff making a big deal about it. That’s what is different today. Players and hangers-on all tweet about it, send notes to the media, speak out at rallies, etc. Okay, that’s their right, but that’s also why the public is involved, now. I’m stating no opinion here, one way or the other, and that’s my right. You respect me, I’ll respect you.

  58. mediasloppy says: May 3, 2013 4:09 PM

    So if Lombardi was still alive and outspoken for gay equality in sports would he just be another distraction or guy looking for attention? You know, the ones that get ripped on by here because they have a voice.

  59. thegreatgabbert says: May 3, 2013 4:14 PM

    Gay players will one day be accepted in the league. But dark skinned Italian-Americans is a whole other matter.

  60. thegreatgabbert says: May 3, 2013 4:16 PM

    Vince just wanted to collect some P.C. points so he wouldn’t have to change the name of the Redskins.

  61. istateyourname says: May 3, 2013 4:17 PM

    Speaking of renaming franchises, Green Gay Packers, nice sound to it, very inclusive, very respectful, Vince would apparently approve…

  62. thehatefulnerd says: May 3, 2013 4:23 PM

    People always label Vince as “old school.” I don’t know why.

    Sure he was tough, but he was FAR ahead of his time. Not only in this aspect, but in film review, travelling by air, and in many other ways.

    Insisted his team stay together when on the road, even in the south, where many hotels would segregate the black players.

  63. larrydavid7000 says: May 3, 2013 4:28 PM

    When I think of Vince Lombardi I associated him with one and only one team. THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS. HAIL TO THE REDSKINS.!!!!!!!!!!!

  64. packerhater says: May 3, 2013 4:34 PM

    Lol , ofcourse he did they are the Packers after all lol , most of their fans are gay . No wonder Vince left 1st chance he got.

  65. deltaoracle says: May 3, 2013 4:34 PM

    “Liberals” like Lombardi – and Dick Cheney – are able to see gays as PEOPLE, not as THEM. Maybe someday we’ll all be able to talk about individuals, not groups.
    For more than one reason the NFL should be very grateful and proud that its ultimate prize is called the Lombardi.

  66. axespray says: May 3, 2013 4:48 PM

    packerhater says:
    May 3, 2013 4:34 PM
    “Lol , ofcourse he did they are the Packers after all lol , most of their fans are gay . No wonder Vince left 1st chance he got.”
    ———————————
    Stay Classy viking fans….
    It’s no wonder your state voted for that chick that wants to “Cure the Gay Away”.

  67. ningenito78 says: May 3, 2013 4:51 PM

    The funny thing about all this is everybody is assuming it wouldn’t be accepted. How the hell does anybody, much less the media, know if they would be accepted or not? Because bench warming boneheads like Chris Culiver say so? Please. I refuse to believe in this day and age it would be a fraction of the problem the media makes it to be (even though a gay player hasn’t come out yet while active so it hasn’t happened yet). How about we wait until it actually happens before we decide it’s a ‘silly and sad’ state of affairs here.

  68. daysend564 says: May 3, 2013 4:55 PM

    And now we know why they were named “Packers”

  69. thebigtim2012 says: May 3, 2013 5:00 PM

    Pretty hard to leave belicheck off the list of top coaches. No other coach has done what he has done taking into account the salary cap. Parity is supposed to prevent teams from being contenders for more than a few years in a row yet almost every year he threatens to win one. 5 appearances 3 wins. Extremely impressive. I know what the haters will say but guess what you can’t take away his accomplishments no matter how badly you want to

  70. jayhawk2121 says: May 3, 2013 5:04 PM

    Mehrhehe that’s funny.

    I hate the Pats, but the cheater Bill Belechick is the greatest coach ever.
    Talent evaluation, system, and film room. Shanahan isn’t even in the convo.

  71. hurricanegrabowski says: May 3, 2013 5:14 PM

    humblefollowerofjesuschrist says:
    May 3, 2013 2:59 PM
    Such liberal writers on this site. If someone such a Mike Wallace says he don’t understand it or someone states they are for traditional marriage then they are boneheads. If another likes gay marriage or is gay, they get praise. Is PFT biased?
    _______
    I don’t know what part of this name is more of a lie, the humble part (you wouldn’t be making a post if this was a case) or the follower of jesus part (because you clearly haven’t read the new testament)

    Didn’t Jesus say, in Matt 7:1, Judge not lest ye be judged? Plenty of judgement, real and implied, in your statement.

    And why are you worrying about this? Didn’t Jesus also talk plenty about worrying about unnecessary things in Matt 6?

    To me, more important than anything if I’ve read the words of Jesus (which you clearly have not) is Matt 22:39. I’d include what it says but I think you need to look it up yourself, educate yourself on your so called beliefs.

  72. mdenemiller says: May 3, 2013 5:26 PM

    Don’t know if anyone has made this comment yet, but I believe that the Bible instructs us to kill all NFL players as they are working on the Sabbath.

    Exodus 35:2 – Six days work shall be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death.

  73. mazblast says: May 3, 2013 5:39 PM

    mk610 says: May 3, 2013 3:08 PM

    Should be remembered that Lombardi was from the Northeast, and was not a bible thumper. Sorry to say, I think these two factors helped him to be more tolerant.
    ————————————
    Have you ever been to Boston? It’s one of the most racially-divided cities in the country. Do some research about how the federal courts had to order desegregation of the Boston schools, and how the local whites reacted.

    Coach Lombardi was quite religious, BUT tried to never carry his religious beliefs over into his public and professional life. He believed in evaluating football players by how they played football, and people by how they treated other people. Based on my observations as a non-Catholic who attended a Catholic university, IMO he came by his tolerance by nature, not by upbringing.

  74. justsomerandomguy24 says: May 3, 2013 5:50 PM

    Good for Lombardi.

    This is how it should be– be accepting of people who are different from you, and judge guys based on their play.

  75. justsomerandomguy24 says: May 3, 2013 5:52 PM

    Given his success in the cap era, Belichick has to be in the top 5. He might never be number one, but he is the best of his generation.

  76. thethunderofgunns says: May 3, 2013 6:11 PM

    Man on man used to be a defensive scheme. Now it’s an offensive scheme. And pft? They love to report on this practice in public.

  77. bigmark67 says: May 3, 2013 7:02 PM

    If your team name is Packers, no doubt some of your players could be gay.

  78. kev86 says: May 3, 2013 7:11 PM

    Lombardi was a legendary New Yorker.

  79. kev86 says: May 3, 2013 7:12 PM

    Lombardi, Landry, Parcells, Coughlin, belichek. Some great Giants coaches right there.

  80. heymister24 says: May 3, 2013 7:14 PM

    What happens when two gays on a team get “married”?

  81. theclaim says: May 3, 2013 7:43 PM

    What a forward thinker. Insight, empathy, an inspiration as a human. Lombardi trophy is aptly named as the greatest prize in the game. You have my respect and admiration. RIP Vince and HTTR. I selfishly wish you had lived longer.

  82. shinedown37 says: May 3, 2013 7:46 PM

    Lesson every father should teach his son. Don’t grow up to be a Queer!

  83. sdiegosteel says: May 3, 2013 8:00 PM

    Maybe I missed it, but Paul Brown needs to be in the discussion for five greatest coaches of all time too.

  84. seaeagle707 says: May 3, 2013 9:12 PM

    My vote for greatest coach of all time; Spencer Tracy.

  85. 1historian says: May 3, 2013 9:17 PM

    How do we know – how does anyone know that there have not been openly gay – as in their teammates know it and keep it quiet – players in the NFL for years?

    And in the other pro sports as well?

  86. pinion8ted says: May 3, 2013 9:24 PM

    @humblefollowerofjesuschrist :

    I believe in God.

    That said, your spiel doesn’t belong here.

    Take your bully pulpit over to probiblethumpers.com please, and leave this site for talk about football.

  87. pinion8ted says: May 3, 2013 9:28 PM

    mazblast says:

    Have you ever been to Boston? It’s one of the most racially-divided cities in the country. Do some research about how the federal courts had to order desegregation of the Boston schools, and how the local whites reacted.
    —————————————————————
    Stereotype much?

    Get your head out of the seventie’s, moron, and stop promoting the past.

    Clearly you don’t live in Boston, you’ve only read about it.

  88. barroomhero80 says: May 3, 2013 9:35 PM

    Hello. He coached the fudgepackers. Paved the way for Rodgers

  89. monkeyboymotors says: May 3, 2013 10:19 PM

    Too bad he is not coaching the Packers today, I’m sure 99% of the team could use an understanding and protective coach like Lombardi , right Aaron !

  90. burtreynoldstoupee says: May 3, 2013 10:22 PM

    Remember the days when you could watch sports because it was an escape from the cares of this life? Now we have to get beat over the head with PC thinking when we want to info on a favorite team. Is this what happens to a site when they are bought by NBC?

  91. vfan76 says: May 3, 2013 10:47 PM

    Lombardi did more than just accept gay players.

  92. tokyosandblaster says: May 3, 2013 10:54 PM

    And of course, the lowliest of beings, Vikings fans, crawl out and have to take a great article and turn it into something else.

    No wonder the Vikings, and their fans, are considered the absolute worst franchise in any of the major sports.

  93. skiski7 says: May 3, 2013 11:12 PM

    Yes we are to love our neighbors as ourselves and I would agree with that whole heartedly. I also know that it is my duty to love the sinner but hate the sin. I also agree that Chris Broussard as well. I am married and I know that I wish I would have only experienced S#X with only my wife. I know that is a sin and have asked for forgiveness and wish I never did. His ways are better than my ways and I know this for certain. Agree with me or not we will all learn the truth and I hope you think that your 70 to 80 years on this earth satisfy your needs because I know that it does not satisfy mine. I look forward to a place with no pain and sorrow and I can’t wait because I know it is right around the corner. God bless and I will see you on the other side.

  94. olhoss1884 says: May 4, 2013 10:25 AM

    I recently saw a documentary about Lombardi where he told one of his black players not to worry about what anyone though of his marrying a white girl, and reportedly told Roselle to go stuff it when the Commish called to ask coach what he was thinking. One more story about what a great man he was.

  95. RedRuffensor says: May 4, 2013 11:54 AM

    For those ranking coaches, try to remember that, unless the coach has the horses, the team won’t be winning much, even if the coach is a genius.

    I’m not saying that the coach doesn’t have any influence on whether a team wins or loses — he does, as a teacher, motivator and strategist — but he’s not on the field executing plays and he needs top-flight talent for the team to win.

    Take, for example, the Steelers of the 70s. Chuck Noll was their coach and he was a great one. But, you could have put any of the other top coaches of that era (e.g., Shula, Grant, Landry, Madden) to coach the Steelers, and they would have won a lot of championships, too, because the Steelers were loaded talent-wise.

  96. BringBackTheFlex says: May 4, 2013 12:23 PM

    RedRuffensor says: “unless the coach has the horses, the team won’t be winning much, even if the coach is a genius.”

    Agreed, but my point was, if you subscribe to the theory that the QB is the key element to winning championships, and that he is the most important player on the team, then winning without a top-flight QB is an accomplishment.

    Eighteen different coaches have won SBs. Only 3 of those have done it with two or more different QBs. Only two of those have done it without a single HoF caliber QB. And Gibbs is the only one of those two who has accomplished that with three different QBs, none of which is HoF caliber.

  97. drelms says: May 4, 2013 1:03 PM

    Gotta love the gays they make such a positive effect on the worlds morality

  98. skins1970 says: May 4, 2013 1:25 PM

    Vince Lombardi was a great coach and even greater man it is a shame that he died at the relatively young age of 57 years old.

  99. sixjak says: May 4, 2013 1:37 PM

    Hey Everybody, Lombardi told me to smoke pot and go jump off a cliff so I did…oh wait….

    Good grief can this be anymore of a non issue. He was a flawed man who coached football well and did some other things in his life. He put his pants on the same way we all do. I’d rather examine the merits of an issue and decide if I want to adopt them into my life instead of making that decision based on some guy’s actions I never met.

  100. fdugrad says: May 4, 2013 2:18 PM

    humblefollowerofjesuschrist: Coach Lombardi never had the “morale” of Coach Landry?? I don’t know…Coach Lombardi never appeared too depressed or overly maudlin in clips I have seen of him over the years. On the contrary, he was seemingly too HAPPY while he and his teams were stomping The Boys over those years!

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