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Tony Dungy: I wouldn’t have taken Michael Sam

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Former Colts and Buccaneers head coach and current NBC analyst Tony Dungy says that if he were still an NFL head coach, he wouldn’t have drafted Michael Sam, who became the first openly gay player in league history when the Rams selected him in May.

I wouldn’t have taken him,’’ Dungy told the Tampa Tribune. “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.’’

What Dungy is expressing publicly is similar to what some coaches and general managers have said privately, in anonymous quotes in stories about Sam before the draft. But Dungy is the highest-profile person in the NFL world to put his name behind the viewpoint that Sam would cause a distraction and would be more trouble than he’s worth.

Dungy’s comments therefore serve as a reminder that the Rams deserve credit for not allowing the concerns about distractions to keep them
from picking Sam. We don’t know how many teams passed on Sam because he’s gay and how many teams passed on Sam because they simply didn’t think he was a good enough player, but we do know that the Rams were the team that ended Sam’s fall late in the seventh round of the draft. Whether Sam pans out as a player or not, the Rams made history by making the NFL more inclusive.

And that’s where Dungy’s comments become troubling. If everyone refused to hire minorities because it could cause a distraction, no minority group would ever make any progress. Dungy has praised the late Chuck Noll for adding Dungy to the Steelers’ coaching staff in 1981, at a time when most NFL teams didn’t have any African-American assistant coaches. What if Noll had declined to hire Dungy because he worried that some of the white assistant coaches would have a problem with a black colleague?

Dungy may be right when he says “things will happen” because the Rams have an openly gay player on their roster, but those things aren’t Sam’s fault. And those things shouldn’t prevent any NFL team from drafting an openly gay player.

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218 Responses to “Tony Dungy: I wouldn’t have taken Michael Sam”
  1. dtownsportslions says: Jul 21, 2014 12:18 PM

    The man is entitled to his opinion and he has a valid reason for why he wouldn’t of taken him.

  2. joeflaccoallday says: Jul 21, 2014 12:18 PM

    This is real honest opinion. Honestly said had nothing to do with his talents (if he has any) and said it would of been a distraction. Same as Tebow and Kluwe.

  3. politicallyincorrect says: Jul 21, 2014 12:18 PM

    Rams were dumb

    with all the PC and sensitivity/special protections it may well be impossible to cut Sam no matter how good or bad he is…. so this may be a dead roster spot

    not good

  4. jrob23 says: Jul 21, 2014 12:19 PM

    beyond ignorant. He doesn’t even realize how bad this sounds. Oh the irony. Imagine if his former bosses didn’t want to hire a black head coach in the South for fear of backlash? LOL, you can’t make this stuff up. Perhaps the most overrated coach in the last 20 years.

  5. thepftpoet says: Jul 21, 2014 12:19 PM

    Here comes the PC Police to say that Tony Dungy is a bigot for having his own views on Gay Marriage.

    In today’s society, if the PC Police is against it, everyone should be.

    And if anyone else has any different opinion they’re terrible people.

    They are against “discriminating” for their cause.

    But discrimate people who don’t agree with it.

    The irony.

  6. titansbro says: Jul 21, 2014 12:21 PM

    So the super, duper religious ex-coach says he wouldn’t take an openly gay player but only because of the potential distractions it would cause. Not so sure I buy that one.

  7. zackd2 says: Jul 21, 2014 12:21 PM

    But you had no problem supporting Mike Vick and convincing teams to sign him?

  8. mshu7 says: Jul 21, 2014 12:22 PM

    “And that’s where Dungy’s comments become troubling.”

    So Dungy having an opinion on a MORAL issue is troubling?

    I’m sorry, but your argument is completely ridiculous. Skin color is not a MORAL issue. Being gay is.

    As a Christian, I agree with Dungy’s opinion on this.

  9. guitarfreak21 says: Jul 21, 2014 12:23 PM

    Dungy toes the line expertly here; he’s completely honest, but nobody but kluwe would fault him for saying it. #LAWLWAYS

  10. azarkhan says: Jul 21, 2014 12:24 PM

    OMG! Horrible!

  11. dankinator says: Jul 21, 2014 12:24 PM

    I’m normally a supporter of Dungy because he’s a good guy. And although I don’t agree with him philosophically (he’s a Christian and I’m athiest), I understand that his intentions are good. But there’s not much defense for him here.

    He had no problem mentoring Mike Vick. And like was said above, he has praised the Steelers for bringing him on board as a black coach when that wasn’t being done and definitely could’ve caused backlash.

  12. JSpicoli says: Jul 21, 2014 12:24 PM

    No-Duh

  13. wilson1914 says: Jul 21, 2014 12:25 PM

    I wouldn’t have drafted him just because I think he’ll be the next Aaron Maybin (in terms of production) 😕

  14. redandgoldhitman52 says: Jul 21, 2014 12:25 PM

    tony dungy is on point. other coaches are afraid to speak there mind on this topic.

  15. dabears2485 says: Jul 21, 2014 12:26 PM

    He was projected as a 3rd-to-5th rounder before a terrible combine and relatively unimpressive pro day. It’s not surprising at all that he fell simply from a football point of view. Distractions aside, he simply didn’t impress.

    But, hey….he gets more of a pass than Joe Shmoe that didn’t “come out” before the draft, right? Sam will always have an excuse to fall back on if he doesn’t succeed.

  16. dickshotdogs says: Jul 21, 2014 12:31 PM

    Amen. I’m with ya, Tony.

  17. Aaron Rodgers has Tiny Hands says: Jul 21, 2014 12:32 PM

    Don’t make this something it isn’t. He said he wouldn’t draft Sam because the distraction wasn’t worth it. If Sam were a good player, the distraction would be worth it and he would draft him. Maybe it isn’t fair, but if you come to the team with a built-in distraction, you’re not going to be as valued as someone of the same ability without the distraction.

  18. pongonfl says: Jul 21, 2014 12:32 PM

    Wow,
    That is an amazing opinion for him to have, honest or not.

  19. tennesseeoilers says: Jul 21, 2014 12:32 PM

    “And that’s where Dungy’s comments become troubling. If everyone refused to hire minorities because it could cause a distraction, no minority group would ever make any progress.”

    What are you talking about, Mr. Smith? … You can be bet the Dodgers weighed whether or not having Jackie Robinson’s skills were worth combatting the distractions. And they chose wisely. Likewise, NFL teams (including the Rams!) weighed whether or not having Sam’s skills were worth combatting the distractions. In his case, I’m not sure his skills trump the difficulties that are coming with him. Think about it, if Jadeveon Clowney had been openly gay, he would’ve been a first round pick for pretty much every NFL team if not all of them.

  20. valentino8100 says: Jul 21, 2014 12:33 PM

    An NFL team is a business, not a platform. Dungy has it right.

  21. dolphindad says: Jul 21, 2014 12:33 PM

    mshu7 says: Jul 21, 2014 12:22 PM

    “And that’s where Dungy’s comments become troubling.”

    So Dungy having an opinion on a MORAL issue is troubling?

    I’m sorry, but your argument is completely ridiculous. Skin color is not a MORAL issue. Being gay is.

    As a Christian, I agree with Dungy’s opinion on this.”

    ——

    no, having an opinion is not troubling.

    taking discriminatory action against an individual, denying them employment based on his opinion, is troubling. being gay is not related to job performance and should not be an evaluation factor for employment. I don’t think being gay is a moral issue, but even if it is, that is not the question at stake. Dungy would have no say whether or not he is gay.

    the question is, is being a gay football player a moral issue? no it is not. unless you are bigot.

  22. Aaron Rodgers has Tiny Hands says: Jul 21, 2014 12:33 PM

    Look at this Kluwe situation and tell me the Rams are going to have the guts to cut Sam now.

  23. stillers213 says: Jul 21, 2014 12:34 PM

    Coaches and general managers are paid to make decisions that are best for their organization, period! Good for him for telling the truth and not being a PC crony. It’s not discrimination when your primary job is to make the best decision for who you represent. Everyone is always trying to stir the discrimination/racism pot and it’s getting very old. How about a few, you know, actual football articles?

  24. realmenwearstripes says: Jul 21, 2014 12:37 PM

    Some distractions are good distractions.

    When Doug Williams became the first black QB to start a Super Bowl, that was a distraction. It also paved the way for others to follow. Thanks to him, it wasn’t a distraction for Donovan McNabb or Russell Wilson.

    Sometimes to make way, you have to make waves. What Dungy is really saying is that he doesn’t have the courage to be the person to do it. I’m glad the Rams are the people to do it. Now, hopefully in the future, as more openly gay players enter the league, it will be less and less of a distraction each time, until we reach the point that we all wonder what we were making such a big deal out of in the first place.

  25. freddiec8 says: Jul 21, 2014 12:38 PM

    The man gave his opinion so what, if he’s a good footbal player find but we all are forgetting one thing, dont say that its ok and that you are a christian that may be but god does not look at this as ok. He said man shell not lay with man or woman sure not lay with women

  26. sfm073 says: Jul 21, 2014 12:39 PM

    He won’t be a distraction bc he’ll either be at the very end of the bench serving as a specials team guy or he’ll be cut. The rams have the best dline in all of football and add to the fact that the teams plays in a tiny media market like St. Louis this will be a non issue by week 3.

  27. nyking1963 says: Jul 21, 2014 12:40 PM

    Troubling?
    Way to stir up the hornets nest. The position he was drafted in had nothing to do with the fact that he was gay. As much as the media would like you to believe, he was not considered a prospect. He’s too small for DE and not fast enough to be an OLB. He’s not the only guy in that position. The college landscape is littered with these type of players.
    What Dungy was talking about was the “agenda” that Sam has brought to the game. How quickly you forgot about his wanting to do a reality show during training camp. THAT is a distraction. What other 7th rd pick had a reality show planned? The only reason that plan was scrapped was St. Louis told him absolutely not!
    Stop trying to make this into a gay/straight thing. It’s a football decision. Try explaining to us the rationale of why anyone should care about a 7th rd pick?
    Absolutely putrid journalism once again by Michael David Smith. Try looking at things honestly instead of just assuming it had to be because he was gay.
    If he was as good as Manning and gay, nobody would give a hoot.
    absolutely pathetic!

  28. buck82eye says: Jul 21, 2014 12:40 PM

    No, mshu7, thinking what someone does in the privacy of their own bedrooms is a MORAL issue is ridiculous. Therefore, YOU are ridiculous. That being said, the whole barriers being knocked down by Sam argument is a whole lot about nothing. This barrier can’t be knocked down by a fringe player like Sam, in my opinion. Its gonna have to be knocked down by a star player. Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier wasnt a success just because he was black. He also happened to be a great player, and forced people to recognize his skills.

  29. vtorres3 says: Jul 21, 2014 12:41 PM

    So let me get this straight…the SEC co-defensive player of the year is a roster-bubble guy at best? I thought the SEC is the greatest conference on the planet.

  30. packerihardlyknowher says: Jul 21, 2014 12:42 PM

    Yes, he is just stating an opinion. And sometimes peoples’ opinions are wrong. It’s biological, people. People have no more control of their sexual orientation than their skin color. The fact that peoples’ sexual orientations are even a subject to talk about means that society still has a long way to go.

  31. lookout1234 says: Jul 21, 2014 12:43 PM

    I find your wording and comment about the rams interesting. You say they deserve credit for picking him despite the detractions that come along with doing so. How is this a good thing? I know you want to believe this is the greatest thing in the history of football and the united states, but most teams do not want to pick people that will be a detraction to your team which in turn could hurt their ability to do their job and be successful.

    But I suppose in the politically correct universe you live in, good PR from the PC world is more important than actual results and success of a football team. I’m sorry but that makes no sense to me.

  32. t8ertot says: Jul 21, 2014 12:44 PM

    Sam brought this attention to himself. No one asked him about his orientation. He has ulterior motives. Look for a book release

  33. whatjusthapped says: Jul 21, 2014 12:46 PM

    I agree with Dungy except my reason is different, I wouldn’t have taken him because he can’t play at the NFL level. There aren’t any 250 lb DE’s in the game now and he lacks speed and fluidity to move out to OLB.

    So now what Rams? Keep him on the roster because of the PC police or admit to the world what the other 31 GM’s already know, he can’t play.

  34. bigjim50010 says: Jul 21, 2014 12:47 PM

    mshu7 says:
    Jul 21, 2014 12:22 PM
    “And that’s where Dungy’s comments become troubling.”

    So Dungy having an opinion on a MORAL issue is troubling?

    I’m sorry, but your argument is completely ridiculous. Skin color is not a MORAL issue. Being gay is.

    As a Christian, I agree with Dungy’s opinion on this.

    being gay is a moral issue? smh

  35. cdelly2011 says: Jul 21, 2014 12:47 PM

    Vick broke the law and paid for it, but the distraction Vick caused was more outside the locker room. Michael Sam can cause distraction outside as well as INSIDE, the locker room. Distraction is the last thing an NFL head coach wants to deal with, especially at camp……. Michael Sam deserves a shot in the NFL, but with all the stress and pressure that an NFL head coach has to go through, can you blame them for wanting to limiting the amount of distraction they have to face….. I commend the Rams for giving Sam a shot, but I want to see how this plays out!!!!

  36. justafan2014 says: Jul 21, 2014 1:00 PM

    Have to say.. I actually agree with pft poet on this one.

    First for everything.

  37. thevelvetglove says: Jul 21, 2014 1:00 PM

    Sam is a freak show, nothing more. The sooner he is done with the NFL, the better.

  38. jkulha86 says: Jul 21, 2014 1:01 PM

    At this point it’s pretty obvious that Michael Sam cares more about the media attention than he does about being football player, so of course it’s going to be a distraction for the Rams staff when you have a player like that.

  39. shatho1 says: Jul 21, 2014 1:01 PM

    this is all just plain stupid. both Tony Dungy and Michael Sam are human beings and have a right to their own beliefs ans opinions so people just need to get over it already and move on

  40. colv says: Jul 21, 2014 1:02 PM

    Agree, this writer is trying to instigate /make it an issue, Dungy is a good person and has a right to express his opinion.

  41. mediasloppy says: Jul 21, 2014 1:04 PM

    Dungy didn’t say he wouldn’t have drafted him not, because he was gay. It has nothing to do with his religious beliefs. Rather Dungy said it would be a distraction.

    I just watched a movie this weekend called “42″ about the first Black man playing baseball in the days of segregation and Jackie Robinson was more than a distraction

  42. wolfiereasonedlife says: Jul 21, 2014 1:06 PM

    I could see how this would be a distraction inside the locker room as opposed to spousal abuse or say a DWI because let’s just be honest. We don’t care if a player beats his girlfriend/wife or commits vehicular manslaughter but if he is in a loving committed relationship with another man, well, we have to draw the line somewhere.

  43. gatorprof says: Jul 21, 2014 1:08 PM

    The GM’s job is to assemble a group of players and coaches to win games, not to further some PC / social engineering agenda.

    Every individual in that group brings positives and negatives to the table. If an individual is a unique talent or a top-level talent, a GM will choose him and deal with the negatives whether they be off the field problems, press circus, etc.

    Mike Vick was able to nail down a big contract after a well deserved prison sentence because he is a unique talent.

    Tim Tebow, who is a model citizen and is certainly better than many QBs on NFL rosters today, is unemployed by the NFL because the media circus/hassle factor is greater than his talent.

    We will see with Michael Sam. He may turn out to be a great player, but the media circus will remain a negative. Most folks don’t see him as sufficiently talented to tolerate the distractions.

  44. fatsolio says: Jul 21, 2014 1:08 PM

    Good point bringing up if teams never hired minorities as coaches because of the drama that would bring back in the day…or early black players who teams took a chance on.

    This is often typical for black people though when they have little tolerance for drama or for other minorities yet whine about how their minority group has been held down.

    A problem you of course get here with Sam is all the moronic bible thumpers that have an issue with a person’s sexuality like it matters.

  45. seschm says: Jul 21, 2014 1:08 PM

    I remember when Warren Moon came to the Houston Oilers and there was certainly talk about black quarterbacks not being able to cut it in the league. I’m so very happy Houston had the guts to get him.

  46. Ed Bandell says: Jul 21, 2014 1:09 PM

    You left out the part where Sam was supposed to have his own show on Oprah’s network and after pressure from the Rams stating that it would be a distraction did he call the whole thing off.

    Sam was projected to be a 3rd to 5th round pick. He had a terrible combine showing that he was slow, not very agile, and not all that strong. Follow that up with a poor pro day and there you have a 7th round pick or an UDFA status.

    You could say that him coming out as gay actually helped him get drafted. If you take his numbers alone they are very pedestrian and most likely nobody would know who he was had he not come out and made it such a big deal.

    Tony Dungy is entitled to his opinion. In his mind the talent didn’t warrant the risk to his team’s success and the distractions it might cause.

    There is something called the Rooney rule. This makes it mandatory that a team interview a certain number of african american coaches for any openings they have before they hire anyone. Will we have to have a Sam rule too?

  47. whodat5150 says: Jul 21, 2014 1:10 PM

    I’m black , a libertarian and a history buff. And yes, Michael Sams’ presence COULD be a distraction that most coaches might not want to deal with. Just as Mike Mularkey said that he didn’t sign Tim Tebow bc he didn’t want the distraction. I’m sure Chuck Noll talked with his coaching staff and got the pulse of his team before he hired Tony Dungy. Plus, in 1981 people weren’t quite as closed minded as in 1961. A sports team’s job is to produce a winning product that will MAKE MONEY, not make a social statement. Branch Rickey didn’t sign Jackie Robinson to make a social statement, he did it to make money. There were more talented Negro League players than Robinson. But he was picked bc he had the temperament to handle all the crap that would come his way. Because there were so many other things for whites to do, attendance at MLB games were down. But most Negro League games were sold out. Rickey and the Dodgers knew that some players and fans would resent the decision. But they knew that for every white that didn’t buy a ticket, a black would to see one of their stars playing in the MLB. Being a proud Southerner, most folks don’t realize that the bus companies NEVER wanted the “blacks in the back” policy and tried to have the city leaders change the policy. Not bc they were champions of civil rights but bc they were losing money. The desire to make a buck will ALWAYS be the catalyst for social change. But I do applaud the Rams for their willingness to deal with a potential huge distraction.

  48. mn2long says: Jul 21, 2014 1:12 PM

    whatjusthapped says:Jul 21, 2014 12:46 PM

    “I agree with Dungy except my reason is different, I wouldn’t have taken him because he can’t play at the NFL level. There aren’t any 250 lb DE’s in the game now and he lacks speed and fluidity to move out to OLB.”

    Ever heard of DeMarcus Ware?

  49. bridgeh2o says: Jul 21, 2014 1:13 PM

    gargamelsmentor says: Jul 21, 2014 12:22 PM

    “Wouldn’t want to deal with it”…..that sounds like such a wuss statement from him. I usually have high respect for him, but I think Dungy is letting his religious beliefs speak in this case.

    bridgeh2o says:

    It appears that Dungy gave his comments freely from a COACH perspective, from understanding the nuances of the distractions involved.

    Obviously, if Michael Sam was an unbelievable 1st round, can’t miss guy, he would probably feel differently.

    Talent almost always trumps one over the other, whether the guy had some brushes with the law, or was gay in this example.

    All Dungy was saying was he would weigh it, and the positive outcomes verses the negative wouldn’t be worth it.

    He was neither condemning nor proclamating a cause.

    No problem with his OPINION. He was one of the best coaches around, just ask his players.

    I think he knows a thing or two about building team unity, and in his mind, bringing on Michael Sam would not move the team enough while taking on the outside media onslaught and distractions. Very fair assessment.

  50. footballfanatic666 says: Jul 21, 2014 1:13 PM

    A person’s choice of sexuality should have nothing to do with football… when sexuality becomes a bigger story than football… it is simply wrong and it is time to move on from it..

  51. yeogib says: Jul 21, 2014 1:14 PM

    The same guy who still supports Mike Vick despite the circus that continues to follow him, and will be worse in New York. At least Florio isn’t afraid to question a fellow NBC employee. Although, he does seem to agree with Peter King a lot…

  52. tootitan says: Jul 21, 2014 1:15 PM

    “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.”

    Tony, I don’t hear you asking “What would Jesus do?” Did you not consult god before taking on the Michael Vick reclamation project? Maybe you think He/She/It isn’t big or strong enough to take this one on? Or maybe you don’t want something that stands a pretty good chance of making you look less than perfect in the public eye.

    So Tony, I don’t want to call you smarmy or sanctimonious or hypocritical or even creepy but you’ve let it be known ad-nauseam that you are a Christian. Wouldn’t the Christian thing to do here, (after a lot of prayer of course) be to sign Sam and let ‘God’ “deal with all of it”?

  53. sylvester000001 says: Jul 21, 2014 1:20 PM

    “ Dungy is the highest-profile person in the NFL world to put his name behind the viewpoint that Sam would cause a distraction “

    He does not cause a distraction. YOU cause the distraction. You don’t need to do that to him but YOU can’t stop yourself. It is YOU who do what YOU do, that causes the problem.

    “ And that’s where Dungy’s comments become troubling. If everyone refused to hire minorities because it could cause a distraction “

    It’s people who do what you do for a living, who use minority groups as pawns, that cause problems.

    If you people who do what you for a living would stop doing that, there would be no issues. That’s the truth of society even though, due to the fact of what you do for a living, you are unable to grasp that.

  54. ebrownwareagle says: Jul 21, 2014 1:20 PM

    Being Gay ain’t Being Black! Stop the Comparisons. I don’t have to tell u when u look at me that I’m Black to receive backlash from The World. But you have to come out and Let the World know your Gay verbally or Thru lifestyle in order to receive retribution.

  55. b3nz0z says: Jul 21, 2014 1:22 PM

    no disrespect, but if you use the phrase “PC” in your argument, 9 out of 10 educated people will disregard everything else you say

  56. shoeflypie says: Jul 21, 2014 1:22 PM

    Anyone bringing something new into the camp that is already a lightning rod in society will bring with him a significant amount of media circus. The larger the “newness”, the more the circus. Thus, Jackie Robinson DID bring a lot of circus both within and without because there were bigots in the sport, in society, and in the press. But guess what, Jackie was a great player. His contributions on the field conquered the idiots in the dugouts, press and the crowd.

    Tim Tebow came into e camp with strong personal convictions that he displayed everywhere he went. So the circus came into camp with him. His lack of skill did NOT win over the anti-Christian bigots in the crowd or the press, and he did not last. There are stll a few out there who maintain he was cut because of the circus and his beliefs.

    Michael Sam has brought into the camp yet another circus. He deserves a chance to make the team, but the team also has the right to say, No, you are not good enough for the team. Meanwhile the circus does continue in the media. When the decision is made by the team, we’ll find out where the bigots really lie.

    There will be those who will refuse the idea that he was cut for legitimate reasons and will stand up on their hind legs braying that he was cut because he was gay. If he is kept by the team, a different set of bigots will stand up on their hind legs, braying that he was only kept because he was gay.

  57. thestrategyexpert says: Jul 21, 2014 1:23 PM

    Well the upside is at least he’s being honest…

  58. nullaereale says: Jul 21, 2014 1:27 PM

    Man, as a black man I really wish people would stop comparing the racial struggle to the gay rights struggle.

  59. tootitan says: Jul 21, 2014 1:28 PM

    colv says:
    Jul 21, 2014 1:02 PM
    Agree, this writer is trying to instigate /make it an issue, Dungy is a good person and has a right to express his opinion.

    I’d say this statement is half correct; Dungy does have a right to express his opinion. The other half of the statement is absolutely subjective.

    My opinion of Dungy is vastly different than yours. The guy just creeps me out – always has. But let’s not judge him yet – he has a long way to go before he can claim sainthood, although it seems like he’s already done that in his own mind and in the minds of his acolytes.

    Thank God I have a right to express that opinion!

  60. Andrew says: Jul 21, 2014 1:29 PM

    So we’ve gone from Leo Durocher to this, that’s nice…

  61. logicalvoicescowboybrother says: Jul 21, 2014 1:29 PM

    What I don’t get is that these coaches say they will take a player that has a DUI, has not been to any classes as he was high, BUT a player who is gay is suddenly bad. GROW UP PPL

  62. burtreynoldstoupee says: Jul 21, 2014 1:29 PM

    I think this quote sums it up best: “Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense.”

    People have the right to have their own opinions and beliefs. If you hold a different view it doesn’t make you a “hater.” Anyone getting a bit tired of that? It’s so clearly an attempt to shut down intelligent discourse.

    What has become very troubling the last few years is that instead of a live and let live attitude, there are those that insist you must not only agree with and condone what they think but that now you should be punished if you dare disagree. This, my friends, is the start of fascism.

  63. paoconno says: Jul 21, 2014 1:29 PM

    For all you bringing God into this, please re-read Luke 6:41-42 (that is, if you’ve ever managed to read the Bible which details our wonderfully INCLUSIVE faith, instead of just listening to what the ignorant talking heads say). Basically, it tells us we are not the sin police, God is. He’ll be the judge, not you. So to discriminate against anyone because you don’t agree with it, or think it is sinful is morally wrong. So stop trying to do the Big Man upstairs’ job…he can handle it Himself.

    As for Sam, the media keeps making him an issue. He went through minicamp with no problems. His teammates, including Chris Long have already been saying he is doing well and they don’t mind having him around. If he keeps playing well… he’ll make the team. If not, bye bye, gay or straight.

  64. jets82jets says: Jul 21, 2014 1:30 PM

    As a life long Jets fan I am very familiar with the media distractions which players and coaches bring to the table. Such attention has obviously had a negative affect on my Jets. Dungy is well within his right to point out that the media circus which will follow Michael Sam around is likely to have negative consequences on whatever team drafted him. Luckily the Rams are not a large media market team so the consequences will probably be significantly less than if the Jets/Giants or other large market team took him.

  65. audient says: Jul 21, 2014 1:31 PM

    It is a matter of doing the right thing or doing the easy thing, and as is often the case, these are not the same thing.

    So, it would seem that Dungy would do the easy thing in this situation. That’s too bad. I suppose if the man had the talent of Peyton Manning, it would be easier to do the right thing.

  66. pete2112 says: Jul 21, 2014 1:33 PM

    I like Tony Dungy but this is a little tough for me to understand coming from him. Not that I’m comparing racism to being the first openly gay person to play for the NFL, but I think some of this falls under that with regard to the wall that exists much like what Jackie Robinson went through as being the first African American in MLB.
    It just surprises me Tony would take this stance and I wonder if his thoughts on this are genuine. I get the feeling his religious beliefs might be more the driving reason that he wouldn’t have taken Michael Sam if he were still coaching and he’s just using the distraction it would create as a reason.

  67. gargamelsmentor says: Jul 21, 2014 1:35 PM

    ufandrew11……..spot on!!!

  68. realdealsteel says: Jul 21, 2014 1:35 PM

    The only reason he was drafted is because he was gay. Because if he wasn’t drafted, the gay & lesbian community would be picketing and rioting up a storm. So the NFL had to do that to keep their mouths shut. And he’ll be cut in a year or so and we can get back to NORMAL football.

    If you notice, it was a coach on the NFL rules committee that selected him. Very obvious that Goodall and Fisher made this agreement behind closed doors to protect the league. I wonder what will Goodall do for the Rams now in return for this favor that Fisher did for the league?

  69. minanten says: Jul 21, 2014 1:39 PM

    Cmon’ Smith! Where do you get off trying to make an issue out of this? Typical press nowadays I guess! Dungy never said any of the things you bring up in this article. He simply stated a WELL KNOWN fact and you put your own assumptions into play here. Let’s be fair!

  70. destinationfl says: Jul 21, 2014 1:40 PM

    everyone has a right to an opinion, everyone has the right to disagree.

    if he can play the distractions will be irrelevant.

  71. Mr. Wright 212 says: Jul 21, 2014 1:41 PM

    kegmen7 says:
    Jul 21, 2014 1:24 PM
    You know, Jackie Robinson cause a lot of distractions too- was that worth it Tony?
    ——–

    Jackie could play and was worth his salt, unlike those before him who Rickey and others might have selected for integration.

    Sam chooses to be gay and is a marginal football player at best.

    I hate the crowd that equates skin color/civil rights issue with the choice to be gay.

  72. dutchman1350 says: Jul 21, 2014 1:43 PM

    Michael Sam isn’t the distraction, it’s the media shoving their narrative down society’s throat. The endless questions…

    I hope everyone says “who’s Michael Sam?” When asked about him.

  73. trollingforjustice says: Jul 21, 2014 1:45 PM

    Michael Sam is no more of a distraction to his team than Rex Ryan is to his…….

  74. descendency says: Jul 21, 2014 1:47 PM

    I agree with Mr Dungy. If you’re different than the norm, it’s going to cause distractions. The NFL is far more prepared to handle drug users, rapist, murderers, women abusers, etc. than they are to handle someone who is gay or who supports gay rights.

    That doesn’t make us right or wrong, it is just a CYA league when you are a coach or GM and it’s alot easier to cover when there isn’t a really large elephant in the room.

  75. Ed Bandell says: Jul 21, 2014 1:50 PM

    Do people realize there have already been gay players in the NFL? There has been for years. Sam isn’t the first gay player in the NFL. He’s the first to make it such a big deal and unfortunately for him he’s already made himself what he didn’t want to be, “Micheal Sam, that gay football player.” Those were his words, not mine.

    I don’t care if anyone is gay. I’ve known some gay and lesbian people in my life time and they are just like everyone else. There are good and bad in their midst just like any other walk of life. I’ve had some that were actually really good friends. My decision on whether or not I like a person as a friend or consider somebody a good or bad person has nothing to do with their sexuality.

    It really isn’t any of my business what you do behind your own closed doors. My rights haven’t been infringed upon by you.

    But, when you throw it in my face and then tell me that I don’t have a right to say things or do certain things just because of the fact that you are gay and I HAVE to accept certain things, well, you don’t have the right to tell me that. I am not saying that to be ignorant. That is just the law.

    People have the right to say they are gay. People also have the right to say they don’t approve of that.

  76. burndownhottopic says: Jul 21, 2014 1:51 PM

    I really don’t see much of a difference between gay rights and racial struggle. Neither are a choice. I’m sorry, but there is no choice between gay and straight. It’s not like we all wake up one day and grab a straight hat or gay hat like it’s signing day.

  77. trollingforjustice says: Jul 21, 2014 1:53 PM

    nullaereale says:
    Man, as a black man I really wish people would stop comparing the racial struggle to the gay rights struggle.
    ———————————————————–
    It kinda bothers you when you get hit over the head with it day after day after day doesnt it?

  78. gofor2with3pointlead says: Jul 21, 2014 1:53 PM

    As a general rule I’d agree that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. That being said, if you have any understanding of media, social media or society in general there are any number of subjects that I would abstain from comment on publicly. Being in a management position, often times, opinions on social issues should be regarded as taboo. In this country we have what’s called an expectation of privacy, it’s a right, exercise it. You don’t have race to a keyboard to let everyone with an internet connection know every thought that pops into your head, and you don’t have to believe everything you think. Considering Coach Dungy’s place in the modern era of NFL coaches, I’m a little disappointed in his comments but let’s not take them out of context. Although he is a Christian, the comments don’t appear to be a rebuke of Sam’s lifestyle as much as they are an accurate appraisal society and the media’s reaction.

  79. thefiesty1 says: Jul 21, 2014 1:54 PM

    Just a publicity stunt by the Rams. He won’t even make the team.

  80. pizzasaurus says: Jul 21, 2014 1:54 PM

    If Michael Sam really just wanted to be known for football as he first claimed, his sexual orientation would probably be a non-issue for Dungy and most other coaches.

    But Sam isn’t just another college guy trying to make a pro roster who happens to be gay – he seems to want to draw attention to the cause of gay rights, gay marriage, etc. and he’s already achieved celebrity for this.

    That’s his right, but a coach has to decide if the benefit of his talent outweighs the distraction of his campaigning for a social issue.

  81. niles6590 says: Jul 21, 2014 1:54 PM

    The “Well, Dungy…you supported Vick after the dog fighting thing” argument does not apply here. As a coach in the NFL, you look at risk vs reward. Mike Vick, when he was able to come back to the league, had the ability as a starting QB to change a game and win it with his legs…some might say he still does but that’s another story. In my opinion, you risk the distraction with Vick to try and win games back then. Case in point, no one during game broadcasts mentions the dog thing anymore because his talent and on-field play, like it or not, has caused people to move forward from his criminal past. Michael Sam is not going to be a game changer or even someone you have to game-plan for – and for you PC types, I draw that conclusion based on his on-field ability, not sexual orientation – so calm the F down. He’s not that good of a player, so the risk isn’t worth the reward. In 3 years, if he’s still in the league, people will be referencing his sexual orientation before his abilities on the field. Risk vs reward, Vick vs Sam, apples vs oranges.

  82. frenchysgoldfish says: Jul 21, 2014 1:57 PM

    Sam created this drama by coming out before the draft, creating a marketing team, and misleading the Rams about his intentions to turn training camp into “Hard Knocks/Sam Comes Out” He is a marginal player whose ability to stick on a roster will be scrutinized because the team will be called into question why he is being cut. Dungy’s mentor, Chuck Noll used to call them “Distractions” and he understood what the attention would do. Noll accepted gay players because they were players, not gay.
    If he were a top 50 pick it would not be a problem. If the Rams had to do it over again, they would have passed on the distraction as well.

  83. ravensterpsarmystrong says: Jul 21, 2014 1:57 PM

    Dungy just said what others in the NFL wouldn’t. As the leader of an organization, you must make a decision based on what you believe the facts are and how they impact your organization. If Sam was worth the distraction, other teams would have drafted him sooner.

  84. gurnblanstonreturns says: Jul 21, 2014 1:58 PM

    Uh-oh. A chink in the saint’s celestial armor. The man who doesn’t think twice about distracting radio audiences nationwide with his commercials for Christ and blathers on about his “uncommon life” proves that he just can’t rise above the bigotry of his faith. I’m sure he’ll sell thousands and thousands more books to evangelical gaybashers. Way to watch the bottom line, Tony. Good luck with that “eye of a needle” thing.

  85. ytownjoe says: Jul 21, 2014 1:58 PM

    He was rated a 7th rounder at best. So why take a guy who may cause a distraction?

    On the other hand, why is Dungy saying anything? It only stirs up the pot.

  86. alphaq2 says: Jul 21, 2014 1:59 PM

    Seeing as how the guy went in the seventh round, every team passed on him at least six times…if not seven.

  87. xxsweepthelegxx says: Jul 21, 2014 1:59 PM

    Pftpoet actually posted something other than his usual Vikings jibber jabber?? Nice job MDS, you really struck a chord with that reader. Interesting

  88. 69finfan says: Jul 21, 2014 1:59 PM

    How long before Chris Kluwe speaks out on this?

  89. blackandbluedivision says: Jul 21, 2014 2:00 PM

    “What if Noll had declined to hire Dungy because he worried that some of the white assistant coaches would have a problem with a black colleague?

    Dungy may be right when he says “things will happen” because the Rams have an openly gay player on their roster, but those things aren’t Sam’s fault. And those things shouldn’t prevent any NFL team from drafting an openly gay player.”

    All valid points. It SHOULDN’T but it will. That’s just how it is. But, it only takes one brave soul to change things. Unfortunately if Sam doesn’t pan out in the NFL it may be awhile if we see another openly gay player in the NFL.

  90. bengalskuta82 says: Jul 21, 2014 2:03 PM

    Tony Dungy just gave his opinion. Nothing wrong that at all.
    I respect him for being honest. No one in the NFL world (including former players/coaches) will say what he said.
    He wouldn’t want to deal with the distractions. Ok, not a lot of teams wanted to give T.O a chance because they thought he would be Locker room cancer, not because he’s a minority.
    The media is trying to create something that is not there at all

  91. hugeredskinsfan says: Jul 21, 2014 2:05 PM

    Does the media ever take responsibility for anything? When do they say “Its our fault that this is a big deal because we over-hype everything.” Michael Sam got drafted that late because teams know the media will scrutinize everything.

  92. whodat5150 says: Jul 21, 2014 2:06 PM

    As a libertarian, I support the rights of LBGT individuals to live their lives as they see fit. But as a black man, I am offended when the LBGT community and their supporters compare their lifestyle with gender and ethnicity. A few years ago when they mapped the human genome, they found the gene that controls gender and ethnicity. But they did not find the gene that controls sexuality. Maybe there is a gene that controls sexuality and people are “born this way”but science hasn’t confirmed it.

  93. nflgreedleague says: Jul 21, 2014 2:07 PM

    I think most including PTF are missing the point. Distraction was the reason given and why would it be a distraction, not because of what M. Sams does in the privacy of his own home. But because of the Media, they are the problem and are for every NFL team. The media picks apart, exploit and destroy all in their path, often times with questionable sources and/or pure speculation.
    Case in point, if Sams gets cut then every talking head is going to speculate why, and that it wasn’t due to his lack of playing ability. Who wants the headache, blame yourself PTF you’re part of the problem not the solution.

  94. shakespeare22 says: Jul 21, 2014 2:07 PM

    If someone from ESPN would say what Dungy said – they would be fired before sundown. ESPN is the moral police. BTW, has Berman retired yet?

  95. wayomaz says: Jul 21, 2014 2:08 PM

    I am conflicted about even posting on here, though, because I’m really tiring of clicking to read football news and having sexuality thrown in my face and I don’t want to contribute to that. If you choose to have a threesome with the Bella twins, go do it, just don’t tell me about it, I don’t want to know. And if Clowney is the guy doing it, I don’t want to read about that when I click on a football site, save it for TMZ. Ditto for Sam and whatever he does in his bedroom. Stop telling us about it! We get it, you guys are extremist pro-gay. Will you please leave it alone and stick to football stories now??

  96. harveyredman says: Jul 21, 2014 2:09 PM

    If Michael Sam, ran a 4.5, benched 225 25+ times, and jumped 40 inches, whatever distraction his sexuality caused would be worth it.

    Instead, he has some of the worst measurables on the board. Which makes the “distraction” bigger than his skills. Never a good combo – in any business.

  97. 1rockyracoon says: Jul 21, 2014 2:11 PM

    I give him credit for speaking on the record about his views. It is ironic that his start as a coach in the NFL was thanks to a forward thinking man, yet he says he wouldn’t fo the same for another person. Just because something is difficult doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. The right thing to do sometimes comes with challenges. Also, there may better to it than just him not wanting to do with all of the attention that comes with drafting the first openly gay player. Dingy is a devout Christian. On average, religious people are not the most progressive people.

  98. cuda1234 says: Jul 21, 2014 2:11 PM

    The elephant in the room, of course, is the false comparison of the plight of blacks and gays in this country. Were gays ever enslaved? Denied an education? Prohibited from voting? Forced into separate-but-equal schools, restaurants, housing, etc? Of course not.

    Let’s be honest, please.

  99. kelvinmays says: Jul 21, 2014 2:12 PM

    Wheather the Chuck Knoll did or didnt doesnt matter because it happened anyway.

  100. bengalskuta82 says: Jul 21, 2014 2:12 PM

    69finfan says:
    Jul 21, 2014 1:59 PM

    How long before Chris Kluwe speaks out on this?
    ———————————————————-
    Exactly what I was thinking

  101. celticsforever says: Jul 21, 2014 2:13 PM

    John Mara is furious. This is bound to cause salary cap penalties to Dallas & Washington.

  102. dublindemonszfl says: Jul 21, 2014 2:13 PM

    If he was 1st round talent the distraction may have been worth it to any team. As a 7th round pick, it is not worth the media always making it about a 7th round pick. The media will constantly try to fan the flames of controversy, this season and every season Mr. Sam plays in the NFL. Good Luck Mr. Sam

    I wouldn’t have Mantei Teo either

  103. Nath says: Jul 21, 2014 2:14 PM

    Of course all the “It’s OK to discriminate against gay people” comments have a ratio of 5:1 thumbs up : thumbs down. PFT Commenters, wishing it was 1954.

  104. politicallyincorrect says: Jul 21, 2014 2:15 PM

    just imagine if a non minority said this..

    not a Dungy fan but thank him for this

  105. gofor2with3pointlead says: Jul 21, 2014 2:16 PM

    List of SEC defensive players of the year and draft position.
    Jarvis Jones Draft: 1st round, 17th overall of the 2013 NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers

    Morris Claiborne Draft: 1st round, 6th overall of the 2012 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys

    Patrick Peterson Draft: 1st round, 5th overall of the 2011 NFL draft by the Arizona Cardinals

    Rolando McClain **DRAFT BUST** Draft: 1st round, 8th overall of the 2010 NFL draft by the Oakland Raiders

    Eric Berry Draft: 1st round, 5th overall of the 2010 NFL draft by the Kansas City Chiefs

    Glenn Dorsey Draft: 1st round, 5th overall of the 2008 NFL draft by the Kansas City Chiefs

    Something is rotten in Denmark.

  106. costmiller says: Jul 21, 2014 2:16 PM

    Two words: Tim Tebow.

  107. fwippel says: Jul 21, 2014 2:16 PM

    Boy, wait until Chris Kluwe hears about this!

    Honestly, I’m glad Dungy has the integrity to be honest about this. And you know what? He’s right.

    Nothing against Michael Sam, but it’s hard to dismiss the idea that he’s got an agenda; that was made obvious on the day he was drafted with the cameras ready to roll. The attempt to land a reality show was more evidence of this.

    If Sam is good enough, he’ll play. But the Rams are in for a roller coaster here, and no coach wants that.

  108. mediasloppy says: Jul 21, 2014 2:17 PM

    justwinbaby29 says: Jul 21, 2014 1:20 PM

    This country is going to become Russia and China soon. Which is what the far left wants. Mission accomplished.
    —————————
    Yeah, cuz both of those places really have a high degree of Social Justice…

  109. gofor2with3pointlead says: Jul 21, 2014 2:18 PM

    I did go back further and there was a 2nd and a 5th rounder, however that doesn’t really help to alleviate my suspicions.

  110. ericrobertmalcolm says: Jul 21, 2014 2:20 PM

    This is disconcerting because I’ve always respected Dungy, who of course is the first black HC to win a super bowl… which raises the question, I’m sure head coaches felt that way about starting black athletes at one point, let alone coaches, so how is this any different?

  111. cruzer1996 says: Jul 21, 2014 2:20 PM

    I don’t think that Sam’s talent (or lack thereof) merited a 7th round pick. He shouldn’t be in the NFL.

  112. wolfiereasonedlife says: Jul 21, 2014 2:24 PM

    paoconno says: Jul 21, 2014 1:29 PM

    For all you bringing God into this, please re-read Luke 6:41-42 (that is, if you’ve ever managed to read the Bible which details our wonderfully INCLUSIVE faith, instead of just listening to what the ignorant talking heads say). Basically, it tells us we are not the sin police, God is. He’ll be the judge, not you. So to discriminate against anyone because you don’t agree with it, or think it is sinful is morally wrong. So stop trying to do the Big Man upstairs’ job…he can handle it Himself.
    —————————————————————–
    As an atheist I only wish this magical worldview were true but it is not. Bigots use religion as a justification for their bigotry because there is no rational argument for it.

  113. summitmech says: Jul 21, 2014 2:28 PM

    Dungy didn’t say he was against gay marriage. He didn’t say ANYTHING at ALL about whether or not he supports gay people or gay marriage in this article. The people at at the top of the comments section in this article are morons, and their grammar is terrible. (It’s “would HAVE”, not would OF you idiots!)

  114. idontlikesports says: Jul 21, 2014 2:32 PM

    Race should not be issue in this matter. Not drafting a player based on race is DEFINITELY not the same as not drafting a player based on sexual preference in reference to causing a “potential distraction.”

  115. greatestryan says: Jul 21, 2014 2:33 PM

    The problem with the comparisons to Vick is that the talent vs distraction ratio isn’t close. Everyone knows that there is an analysis of talent vs distraction or talent vs bad behavior. If a player is good enough, teams are more likely to deal with distractions or bad behavior. Vick may not have been a top 10 QB when he came back, but he has tons more potential than Sam does with considerably less distraction factor. I would not have taken Sam either for Dungy’s same reasoning, but I’m sure I would have taken Manning or Luck when they came out even if they had came out.

  116. 1greatusername says: Jul 21, 2014 2:36 PM

    “What if Noll had declined to hire Dungy because he worried that some of the white assistant coaches would have a problem with a black colleague? ”

    There’s the distinction. It’s the media that makes situations like Sam’s into a different type of distraction. If other players and coaches had a problem with Sam and it created a problem in the organization, that would be one thing.

    When the media creates a distraction by asking everyone on the team whether they have a problem with Sam or about Sam’s situation every single day, then that’s a distraction.

    Even back in the day, the media wasn’t going to poll every member of the Steelers organization daily to ask if anyone had a problem with Dungy’s race.

  117. coreyn23 says: Jul 21, 2014 2:36 PM

    Dungy really needs to think before he speaks. I have always respected Dungy all they way back to when he was the D Coordinator for the Vikes. However, he is being the very definition of a hypocrite here. It’s ok to be behind Mike Vick or Ray Lewis or anyone else for that matter, as long as their talent level is good enough for it to warrant it. We don’t know how good Sam will be but I guarantee that Dungy wouldn’t have had a problem drafting J. Manziel and the distractions that he brings. Overall, this is just a religious man who can publically state his opinion without fear of consequence doing just that.

  118. snoop24 says: Jul 21, 2014 2:40 PM

    So the super, duper religious ex-coach says he wouldn’t take an openly gay player but only because of the potential distractions it would cause. Not so sure I buy that one.

    ____________________________________

    So it’s not OK to be openly religious but you are going to shove the openly gay thing down my throat. We are done as a society.

  119. vicksprman says: Jul 21, 2014 2:44 PM

    Would love to know why being gay is being equated to being black no matter how much you try it doesn’t apply. Sorry you have zero choice to be born of color.

  120. pftcoachmen says: Jul 21, 2014 2:44 PM

    Michael Sam will get a reality Tv show when he is cut.

    Hes a good college player, poor athlete. Will be a poor pro. IMO.

  121. gofor2with3pointlead says: Jul 21, 2014 2:49 PM

    trollingforjustice says: Jul 21, 2014 1:53 PM

    nullaereale says:
    Man, as a black man I really wish people would stop comparing the racial struggle to the gay rights struggle.
    ———————————————————–
    It kinda bothers you when you get hit over the head with it day after day after day doesnt it?

    Not going to happen, when persecution reaches the level of execution. I’m not trying to say it ever has or ever will reach the frequency of the racial discrimination that African Americans have experienced, but beaten and killed for who you are shouldn’t ever happen to anyone.

  122. psousa1 says: Jul 21, 2014 2:49 PM

    Peter King is going to get all weepy and write tomorrow how St. Tony is brilliantly articulating how other coaches feel.

  123. akboot says: Jul 21, 2014 2:50 PM

    Yep, reading some of these moronic comments on here makes me laugh at the double standards people have. Ripping Dungy for having an opinion that certain people don’t agree with is just rich. Hey you clowns, your hypocrisy cup is overflowing. It’s his opinion, get over it. Sheesh. It wasn’t anything butt that. Quit trying to read things that aren’t there, it makes you look foolish.

  124. dzor22 says: Jul 21, 2014 2:55 PM

    Dang…just stop already! Really? Anything to turn the attention away from football. Dungy’s comments have nothing to do with the race issue and justa platform for you all too push some touchy feely agenda. The man has a right to his opinion. So do you…and so do I. Enough!

  125. dzor22 says: Jul 21, 2014 2:55 PM

    snoop24- dead on!

  126. metitometin says: Jul 21, 2014 2:56 PM

    I think opinions like Tony Dungy’s are reason why many gay people won’t come out of the closet and would rather live along than submit to a gay lifestyle. Why be openly gay when there’s still so much hatred towards gay people, especially coming from the Republican Party?

  127. hsteacher says: Jul 21, 2014 2:59 PM

    Excuse me but did you just compare being black to being gay?

  128. ravensfaninflorida says: Jul 21, 2014 3:01 PM

    Michael Sam won’t be in the league very long so it’s really a non-issue at this point in time. The issue is gonna come about when he tries to sue the league for discrimination when he is no longer playing.

  129. stevent92 says: Jul 21, 2014 3:01 PM

    cuda1234 says:
    Jul 21, 2014 2:11 PM
    The elephant in the room, of course, is the false comparison of the plight of blacks and gays in this country. Were gays ever enslaved? Denied an education? Prohibited from voting? Forced into separate-but-equal schools, restaurants, housing, etc? Of course not.

    Let’s be honest, please.
    ___________________________________

    This cannot be overstated. Worthy of a re-post.

  130. buckybadger says: Jul 21, 2014 3:03 PM

    This is hypocritical of Dungy. First I don’t see the big media all around the Rams at OTAs than I saw around any other player and far less than Manziel. I don’t think it will be the distraction past the first couple of days and not much of one even at first. Guys can be involved in all sorts of crime and coaches will take on that distraction but not this? Grow up Dungy.

    NFL players won’t care about his sexuality. Their criteria to be among their fraternity is if you can play the game of football at their level which is a far more exclusive group than if you like girls. If Sam shows he can play he will be accepted into the locker room just like he was at Missouri. If not he will just be another guy who tried out of the NFL and didn’t make it. The media around Sam hasn’t been anything and I don’t see it taking over training camp stories. Gay rights movement has gone far smoother and progressed far more quickly than the civil rights movements for African Americans. The story will go away through most of training camp until he makes or doesn’t make the roster.

  131. theravenlives2 says: Jul 21, 2014 3:10 PM

    OK, so to summarize: Tony Dungy, one of the most respected people affiliated with the NFL, should shut up because – even though he’s telling the truth – it doesn’t agree with PFT’s cause of the day.

    Got it! Thanks for clarifying…hypocrites.

    I remember when football teams actually, you know, tried to win football games and stayed the hell out of social issues. I miss those days.

  132. richndc says: Jul 21, 2014 3:12 PM

    Tony Dungy has always been thought of as a high character guy–I appreciate him being honest, but he has always been thought of as this person who (at least in the past) has championed diversity and fairness–Well, I for one am less inclined to see him this way every time he opens his mouth. Shall we go into the people on teams he coached who did some very un-Christian and highly immoral things? Were they jettisoned from the team? Even without his obvious moral hypocrisy, he chimes in on things no one asked him to and looks silly doing it. I wonder how he remains on TV. He has zero charisma. Puzzling. Did he and Mike Vick baptize some poor kids this weekend? eh, no, no, they did not.

  133. pftstory says: Jul 21, 2014 3:14 PM

    Though Sam intitially said he wanted to be all about football after he announced, it really has not played out that way.
    BUT
    The reason Sam will be a distraction will be almost fully at the feet of the media treating him differently, as they demand everyone else not treat him differently.
    Every story about him does not have to identify him as ” first openly gay player Micheal Sam.”
    But they will. Teammates and coaches will be asked more about “how he is different,” vs how he can help the team by making plays.

  134. gofor2with3pointlead says: Jul 21, 2014 3:17 PM

    On another note. It must be hell for so many NFL talent evaluators to be out of work. Nobody and I mean nobody, knows what kind of NFL player Sam will be, he hasn’t played a down. In the last ten years only two SEC defensive players of the year have gone outside the first round of the draft. Chad Lavalais, a 5th rounder, is no longer in the league. David Pollack, a 1st rounder, is no longer in the league. Demeco Ryans, a 2nd rounder, Philadelphia’s active roster. Rolando McClain is the only other player in the last ten years who won an SEC player of the year and he quit.

  135. raiderlyfe510 says: Jul 21, 2014 3:17 PM

    I wouldn’t have wanted to take on all of that either. Especially a cause I don’t believe in.

  136. patsfan13 says: Jul 21, 2014 3:20 PM

    Sam may be the only openly gay player in the league, but I’ll bet he’s not the only gay player.

  137. gofor2with3pointlead says: Jul 21, 2014 3:26 PM

    This does correlate, with the Washington franchises nickname, because it is racial and because gays have been openly persecuted and even on the rare occasion killed for who they are. How you ask, can it correlate with an NFL franchise nickname? The people who wish to see the nickname changed are “entitled to their opinion”. The hypocrisy of of discrimination, persecution and conservative ethos, knows no bounds.

  138. gpclaw says: Jul 21, 2014 3:27 PM

    I don’t think the comparison between race and sexual orientation is a very good one, at least in this situation. As the article states, there were already black assistant coaches in the NFL when Dungy was hired by the Steelers. There were also black coaches in other sports. Lastly, many of the players in the locker room were black. Predicting how the fans would react may have been difficult, but it was safe to assume that the reaction from the locker room would be positive. In the case of Micheal Sam, he is THE first openly gay athlete to be drafted by an organization in any sport. I think it would have been much easier to anticipate the ramifications of hiring a black coach back in Dungy’s day, than it would be to predict the potential scenarios of drafting the first openly gay player in the history of american sports.

  139. kilofox2014 says: Jul 21, 2014 3:28 PM

    jrob23 says: Jul 21, 2014 12:19 PM

    beyond ignorant. He doesn’t even realize how bad this sounds. Oh the irony. Imagine if his former bosses didn’t want to hire a black head coach in the South for fear of backlash? LOL, you can’t make this stuff up. Perhaps the most overrated coach in the last 20 years.

    Talk about can’t make this stuff up. Comparing blacks to gays is a joke. Calling someone ignorant because he doesn’t hold your PC views is really sad but expected in todays world. He has some very valid points…if they don’t mesh with your world views doesn’t make him ignorant.

  140. allthings18 says: Jul 21, 2014 3:29 PM

    If Sam was the second coming of Lawrence Taylor, he would have gone #1 no questions asked. It wouldn’t matter if he was a top/bottom or both. Since he’s marginally talented, he barely got drafted.

  141. proceednet says: Jul 21, 2014 3:33 PM

    I would have drafted him (Sam). Although he didn’t have the most impressive combine, the pressure that being “a first” might make him excel. Yes, he has to prove himself above standard expectations, to make the roster. Given two players, equal in ability, I’ll take the least controversial of the two. But, if the motivation pushes Micheal Sam to superiority, he gets the job!

  142. rcali says: Jul 21, 2014 3:34 PM

    Yikes, looks like some people hate honesty.

  143. crise40g says: Jul 21, 2014 3:36 PM

    Sexuality aside, he’s not that good of a player. Now when how gets cut, he has a reason to sue the team for sexual discrimination. Dungy is a smart dude.

  144. eleventyeight says: Jul 21, 2014 3:46 PM

    the question is, is being a gay football player a moral issue? no it is not. unless you are bigot.

    ——————————————————-

    So- if you agree that being gay is not a moral issue you are correct, but if you disagree you’re a bigot?

    Sounds like the bigotry is only in disagreeing with your opinion.

    Not exactly “open-minded”.

    But- i’ve always said that activists never want equality, they only want power. Otherwise they’d just be “people”.

  145. proceednet says: Jul 21, 2014 3:48 PM

    His college career should give him at least a chance in training camp. His combine sucked, but many other active players have as well. So, the burden is on him, like any other rookie, to prove himself. Making the cut should be all that he is focused on. The circus, around his sexual orientation, should be left completely behind.

  146. marthisdil says: Jul 21, 2014 3:50 PM

    titansbro says: Jul 21, 2014 12:21 PM

    So the super, duper religious ex-coach says he wouldn’t take an openly gay player but only because of the potential distractions it would cause. Not so sure I buy that one.

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

    How about “because Sam isn’t that really good of a player?”

  147. focushawk72 says: Jul 21, 2014 3:52 PM

    Cue the tape from 50 years ago…”I wouldn’t have drafted that black player. I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it. It’s not going to be totally smooth . . . things will happen.’’

    What a freakin hypocrite. Shameful.

  148. bigperm33 says: Jul 21, 2014 3:52 PM

    Dungy’s comments need context, as he is someone with a past of saying and writing ignorant things about gay people. And that is all this is based on, and it is just a reminder that he isnt this saintly person the media tries to make him out to be.

  149. briang123 says: Jul 21, 2014 4:01 PM

    Unlike Kluwe, this is real courage, standing up and saying the unpopular position that is felt by many people. Bravo, Tony, even though I think you are dead wrong.

  150. dn5864 says: Jul 21, 2014 4:04 PM

    Dungy supported Michael Vick getting back into the league – in fact he advised and mentored him. So let me get this straight – you have no problem with a convicted felon animal abuser but would have a problem with someone who is gay?

  151. phillyphan420 says: Jul 21, 2014 4:05 PM

    gurnblanstonreturns says:
    Jul 21, 2014 1:58 PM
    Uh-oh. A chink in the saint’s celestial armor. The man who doesn’t think twice about distracting radio audiences nationwide with his commercials for Christ and blathers on about his “uncommon life” proves that he just can’t rise above the bigotry of his faith. I’m sure he’ll sell thousands and thousands more books to evangelical gaybashers. Way to watch the bottom line, Tony. Good luck with that “eye of a needle” thing.
    —————————————————-
    Firstly, way to mock someone for their religion, especially when its unwarranted. Secondly, can you even read? Please find me one bit of bigotry in Dungy’s statement. More specifically, the part where he says he wouldn’t take Sam because he was gay? I know I might be waiting awhile, as you are obviously just very excited to label people bigots for any reason whatsoever, even when the facts don’t seem to fit your narrative. I don’t see why some people are so eager to do this at every turn, its extremely counterproductive.

  152. theravenlives2 says: Jul 21, 2014 4:09 PM

    A person’s choice of sexuality should have nothing to do with football… when sexuality becomes a bigger story than football… it is simply wrong and it is time to move on from it..

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

    BINGO!

  153. jacktheraven says: Jul 21, 2014 4:12 PM

    What if Donald Sterling said this?

  154. sumkat says: Jul 21, 2014 4:13 PM

    It’s not a question if he’s a good enough player

    It’s a question if he’s a good enough player to be worth the circus he is going to bring (and he’s going the bring one, the guy had a deal for his own reality show before the draft, he’s all about the spot light). Skill wise, he’s a 5th/6th round talent. 5th or 6th round talents that cause distractions tend to not get drafted.

    Not different the Kluwe, if you cause distractions, and you are an average (at best) player, you aren’t going to be around long. If you are the best, or one of the best, at your position, you may be able to get away with that kind of stuff (depends on the coach/team in that case), but if you aren’t you won’t. It’s not just a gay issue, it doesn’t matter what the reason for the distraction is, they don’t want it.

    Does anyone really think Chad Johson wasn’t better than guys that were still hanging around the league when the left NE? Of course he was, but he didn’t get a job, because he was no longer good enough to justify the distraction

  155. jfkelly1 says: Jul 21, 2014 4:13 PM

    Dungy can see the “media circus” coming. No coach wants to deal with so many outside distractions, like Oprah all the other fluff news shows showing up. Remember how Tim Tebow was hounded for being a Christian.

  156. theravenlives2 says: Jul 21, 2014 4:16 PM

    List of SEC defensive players of the year and draft position.
    Jarvis Jones Draft: 1st round, 17th overall of the 2013 NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers

    Morris Claiborne Draft: 1st round, 6th overall of the 2012 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys

    Patrick Peterson Draft: 1st round, 5th overall of the 2011 NFL draft by the Arizona Cardinals

    Rolando McClain **DRAFT BUST** Draft: 1st round, 8th overall of the 2010 NFL draft by the Oakland Raiders

    Eric Berry Draft: 1st round, 5th overall of the 2010 NFL draft by the Kansas City Chiefs

    Glenn Dorsey Draft: 1st round, 5th overall of the 2008 NFL draft by the Kansas City Chiefs

    Something is rotten in Denmark.

    ====================================
    First of all, Sam wasn’t THE SEC Defensive Player of the Year…he was the CO-Defensive Player of the Year. The person he shared the award with?

    C.J. Mosley, drafted in the first round by the Ravens. They seem pretty high on the kid, so we’ll see.

  157. bigpoppa5501 says: Jul 21, 2014 4:20 PM

    All Dungy did is state his opinion on how he would have handled it. I don’t believe it was bigoted. This is one of the core issues we are dealing with as a society, where no one can state his or her opinions without being castigated by a percentage of the population. We used to be able to have a civil debate in this country about many issues, not any more.

    In regards to Michael Sam, if he can play ball, the Rams won’t have to worry about cutting him. Pretty crowded D-Line over there though…he better hope he can play Special Teams.

  158. pkrlvr says: Jul 21, 2014 4:24 PM

    Being gay ISNT a moral issue. You are born gay, you don’t choose it. While the gays struggles may not be the same as the struggles black folks faced, they didn’t choose their sexuality. Christians display a fundamental misunderstanding of gayness when they call it a moral decision. I look at a hot woman and I get turned on….period. Same thing with gays. They are attracted to their own sex and are not making a decision anymore than a straight person is.

  159. woodyc says: Jul 21, 2014 4:31 PM

    I think the Michael Vick comparisons that people are making on here are invalid. Dungy didn’t say that Sam doesn’t deserve to play, simply that he wouldn’t want to deal with the distractions if he were coach. Dungy never said that he would refuse to mentor Sam if asked, and I don’t remember Dungy saying that he wanted Vick for his team were he still a coach. The trouble that Vick got into and the Sam situation are two very different things. I’ll bet if we got honest answers from several current coaches, they would not want the Sam distraction either. When the Rams have to cut Sam because he isn’t a good enough player, they are going to get hammered by the press for being anti-gay, Dungy is smart to want to avoid that.

  160. ilovefoolsball says: Jul 21, 2014 4:33 PM

    He can say what he wants and people are free to have their own opinion about his opinion.

  161. countyk66ers says: Jul 21, 2014 4:34 PM

    Vince Lombardi was supportive of gay players AND was a religious person.

  162. nyking1963 says: Jul 21, 2014 4:38 PM

    cuda1234 says:
    Jul 21, 2014 2:11 PM
    The elephant in the room, of course, is the false comparison of the plight of blacks and gays in this country. Were gays ever enslaved? Denied an education? Prohibited from voting? Forced into separate-but-equal schools, restaurants, housing, etc? Of course not.

    Let’s be honest, please.
    ___________________________________

    This cannot be overstated. Worthy of a re-post.
    __________________________________

    Let me re-post what I had previously written which apparently was removed.

    There is certainly no denying that racism from the 1800’s thru the 1960’s and perhaps even beyond was reprehensible.
    I would like to know in today’s society whether you have been denied any of those rights that you speak of..Voting, education, employment, etc?
    You can continue to use racism as a crutch, but the reality is you have the same rights as all others.and to an extent even more rights than others. There are no college scholarships set up for whites only.
    Jobs today do not necessarily go to the most qualified. Now they must fill quota’s to ensure that minorities, whether they’re qualified or not, get those positions.
    The “whoa is me” attitude has become nothing more than a ploy to try and take advantage of whatever else you can get away with.
    I would love for us to all live in a world where there is no color, but you will not allow that to happen. No matter what happens, race is the first thing that will be brought up.
    A dumb cop in NY uses an illegal choke hold to kill a perp. Instead of letting his actions stand alone, race had to be brought into the equation. When a perp kills a white person, it’s not considered racism. Why is that?
    Unfortunately this is what has become of our society. It’s pretty shameful if you ask me.
    I don’t consider myself a racist. I get along with people of all races and gender. I see people for what they are, not their color. Perhaps you should try doing the same. The world would be a much better place for it.
    As for Michael Sam, if his talents allow him to be in the NFL than he should. If not he should be cut like all the others.

  163. granadafan says: Jul 21, 2014 4:41 PM

    Here come the ultra conservatives, far right wingers, and religious fundamentalists complaining that they’ve “lost the right” to be non-PC and say bigoted and racist things. No one’s stopping you from saying what you want with like minded people at your rallies.

  164. bucsorbust says: Jul 21, 2014 4:45 PM

    Coaches and GMs don’t keep their jobs for advancing a social agenda, whether it’s generally right or not. It’s about winning games. You weigh all factors….all of them…in making a hiring decision. ALL things considered, you bring a guy on if he’s the best guy to help win. If someone has non-football issues that will disrupt football or distract the team from football, then that hire is not worth the trouble. That doesn’t make one bigoted, hom-phobic or racist or sexist or anything like that. It’s not illegal. It’s illegal if you do not hire them because of a being gay, female, black, etc is the reason for not hiring. It’s a fine line, and some don’t like it, but like it or not, if you think someone will cause a stir, their fault or not…no legal obligation to hire them.

  165. rabidboy says: Jul 21, 2014 4:48 PM

    Although PFT makes a valid point referencing Knoll for hiring Dungy (and forgets about Al Davis’ hiring of the first African-America and Hispanic-American NFL coach), the reasoning is flawed.

    At the time of Dungy’s hiring, African-American were established in the player’s ranks, and the NFL clubs utilized player’s talents regardless of skin color.

    I don’t recall any singular African-American college player in the 70’s boldly proclaiming he was black and the on draft-day posting a You Tube video high-fiving fellow African-Americans after he was drafted in the 7th round,

    If the kid can play in the NFL, great, otherwise he is like all the other college players who just didn’t have enough TALENT and play in the NFL.

    Leave it at that.

  166. jjackwagon says: Jul 21, 2014 4:53 PM

    Here’s a better reason not to draft him, he is too slow to cover the TE’s as a linebacker and too small to be a DE. So what position is he supposed to play?

  167. bucsorbust says: Jul 21, 2014 4:53 PM

    White man or black man up for a job. Both have exact same qualifications. Black man doesn’t get picked for the job because the proprietor thinks he may cause trouble for business because he’s an activist or has beliefs that may not be good for the client businesss. Is this discrimination? No. Only if he’s not hired because he is black. If the black man believes otherwise, he can press the issue. But the point is, you weigh all factors. The fact one is black may not be relevant at all.

  168. jolink653 says: Jul 21, 2014 4:55 PM

    You do realize that the media is causing experienced NFL personnel like Tony Dungy to call the Michael Sam situation “troubling”. You reporters hype this kid up even though he’s not the most talented player, and now the Rams run the risk of getting people angry if he fails to make their roster. All the headlines will blast St. Louis for being “prejudiced against gays” if he gets cut. The media criticize and judge people like Dungy for opinions like this when in fact the media attention is what causes them to harbor these opinions, an opinion not of disdain or dislike for a certain group, but of trying to stay out of the media storm surrounding things like this

  169. bayareacolt says: Jul 21, 2014 5:32 PM

    I’m a Colts fan and I’m disappointed in Dungy for these comments. He knows better than anyone what it’s like to overcome adversity in this league, as a black coach in a position traditionally dominated by whites. If anyone should understand Michael Sam’s situation, it should be him.

  170. gofor2with3pointlead says: Jul 21, 2014 6:05 PM

    Tim Tebow was not hounded for being a Christian. He was a media spectacle because no one other than Christians outside the NFL thought he could be a conventional NFL QB. Recognize that subtle distinction?

  171. zinnsand21 says: Jul 21, 2014 7:58 PM

    I don’t think he will be a distraction. I also don’t think he will make the team.

  172. rugermini14 says: Jul 21, 2014 9:13 PM

    There is FREE SPEECH in this country, although, there are “those” that wish to suppress it. “Those” people want this country to be something other than the United States of America, but here opinions should be heard. Criticize, if you want, but if you wouldn’t die to protect Tony’s right to say what he did, you don’t deserve to live here.

  173. mysonzdad says: Jul 21, 2014 9:17 PM

    St. Louis thought so much of Sam they took him with the seventh to last pick of the draft…

  174. Cortez>Sapp says: Jul 21, 2014 9:24 PM

    These idiots need to STOP with this “Well, he was the Co-SEC Defensive Player of the Year”. Tebow was a star in college, so was Ty Detmer, Tyrone Wheatley, Maurice Clarrett. There is a HUGE difference between college and pro football.

  175. campcouch says: Jul 21, 2014 9:35 PM

    I forgot about Michael Sam.

    He should drink on inflatable swans for more coverage.

  176. mp4pack says: Jul 21, 2014 9:39 PM

    Modern American Christians have pretty much boiled their own platform down to nothing but being anti-gay, and playing the victim/martyr card every time they face any repercussions whatsoever for hateful actions and remarks. Actual Christian martyrs in history and around the world today have to be rolling in their graves at what today’s “Christians” call persecution. It’s funny neither the story itself or any of the comments said anything about this having anything to do with morality before multiple conservative Christians (oxymoron) got on their soapbox to complain about the “PC police”. They never miss an opportunity to play the victim.

  177. alaskazz says: Jul 21, 2014 10:08 PM

    I suspect he would have supported drafting him if Sams had not created a media mess. He is saying what a lot of folks think. Whether you are african american, white, gay, straight – whatever, let your play do the talking and everything will work out as deserved.

  178. brucetrimble says: Jul 21, 2014 10:17 PM

    “Totally smooth”? The NFL is rife with players, coaches, execs and owners whose on and off field behavior isn’t totally smooth and usually due to criminal and/or addictive behaviors. Tony has proved that he’s been so far away from the field that he’s no longer in touch with the game.

  179. igocommando says: Jul 21, 2014 10:28 PM

    I expect that kluwe will sue dungy over this.

  180. revelation123 says: Jul 21, 2014 10:31 PM

    Dungy is correct in his assessment that it’ll be a distraction, but it’s also correct to say that distraction is largely due to others’ prejudices.

    It’s an undesirable fact that minorities are still heavily discriminated against; including the racist minority who nearly always get fired for saying something racist.

  181. criticaldsj says: Jul 21, 2014 10:51 PM

    Wife beater?
    Drug abuser?
    Animal abuser?
    Chronic DUI earners?

    Not a distraction.

    But a gay guy is a distraction. Ok, sure.

    Please. Nothing like a transparently bigoted Christian dog whistling some doublespeak to earn points with the true believers. The fact that it comes from someone who benefited from a concerted historical effort to promote people of his race to positions of authority despite the “distractions” is even more sickeningly hypocritical.

    This is one situation where people would have more respect for you if you said ‘I don’t think he has the type of skill set that I look for in a football player’ than when you traipse out crap like this.

  182. lambojoe says: Jul 21, 2014 11:48 PM

    Its the same as if Sam were a child molesterer. These are moral choices, not racial. The “things” he refers to is the fact that he’s un-cuttable. When the Rams cut him, the PC bullies will try to bully the Rams into submission. Thats what they do.

  183. taintedsaints2009 says: Jul 22, 2014 12:04 AM

    Expect a lawsuit from Chris kluwe

  184. lukedunphysscienceproject says: Jul 22, 2014 1:09 AM

    So the man who thought Mike Vick would NOT be a distraction thinks that Sam WOULD be a distraction.

    And we are supposed to ignore that Dungy is an Evangelical Christian?

  185. lafsq says: Jul 22, 2014 2:39 AM

    Would you critics bet your 7 FIGURE JOB and risk a high pick when there are plenty of other talented options.
    WELL 32 GM’s AGREED THAT SAM WAS A 7TH ROUND PICK!
    Higher payoff with less
    (career risk) invested if it doesn’t work.
    If Belichick, Parcels or Mike McCarthy said what Dungy said, no one would question it and take it at face value…. If Dungy was presently coaching and not “Commentating” (which is his job) he’d probably would’ve said nothing to avoid this very “DISTRACTION!”
    Though Dungy mentored and encouraged Vick in his NFL return, it doesn’t mean that Dungy would have had Vick on his team. I’ve encouraged talented people in my business life who would not have fit or weren’t ready for the level of operation I was managing. But there was a place for them in the company.
    I loved watching, but avoided Vick as a fantasy QB. I feared he’d be injury prone – though he was “Everyone’s” Top Fantasy Pick at that time. If I was white, some would suspect me being a bigot. If I was black I might be labelled an “Uncle Tom.” Distraction is costly in sports. That’s why guys trash talk and blow in each others ear (LOL). and avoid statements that P.O. the opposing team. Org’s like the patriots, the Spurs, the (Post Rodman) Bulls, and Bears tend to steer their roster choices away from “INDIVIDUALS” who generate publicity unrelated to their TEAM/effort.

  186. Nic says: Jul 22, 2014 3:16 AM

    Michael Sam or his sexual orientation is not the distraction Coach is referring to. The ensuing sh**storm that transpires if he’s cut is the potential distraction. The St Louis Rams are the media darling right now because they answered the call and drafted the first openly gay football player. He is also a long shot to make the final roster. Make no mistake– if Michael Sam doesn’t make the final 53, certain groups in the media already have their finger on the button ready to launch an all-out assault on the NFL and the Rams organization.

    It will start off small, with a simple headline that generates public outrage in some liberal circles. Next, we’ll have one or two “eyewitness accounts” of “anonymous sources” that speak of Sam going through some hard times in the locker room. Things that every NFL roster-hopeful rookie goes through will go under the microscope. Coaches’ backgrounds will be “investigated” along with scouts, the GM and ownership. The ultimate goal will be for the go-getter journalist who takes this task on to somehow prove that the organization cut Sam because of his sexual orientation, when in reality he’s just not that good. Keep in mind that the Rams will be trying to win football games week in and week out while this is taking place.

  187. BAMNATION says: Jul 22, 2014 5:36 AM

    Dungy is a religious zealot and even disowned his son because his kid was gay. His son then committed suicide…

    Shows you how much Dungy believes in his religion and really why he wouldn’t sign Sam.

  188. cardeez says: Jul 22, 2014 7:31 AM

    Tony Dungy is not wrong at all, that’s his opinon. These days if ur not politically correct than ur wrong and that is BS! Every body is way to sensetive,and as far as the writer of this story don’t ever compare sexual perfrence to race relations!

  189. hunnymoney says: Jul 22, 2014 8:07 AM

    Tony Dungy is first and foremost an honest man, a trait which I’ve always admired in him in a sport where lies often come too easily. Yesterday he went on record as saying that had he been in a position in the draft to take Michael Sam that he would have passed on him because he said “I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it” (likely meaning the distractions surrounding the fact that Sam is gay). Dungy will of course be vilified for this position as the media is quick to blow up anyone who dares speak anything but the party line where it comes to the LGBT agenda. However the simple fact here is that he is espousing the same position that many GM’s silently took in the draft. Most GM’s spoke very loudly with their picks. I said well before the draft that Sam’s declaration would hurt him and so it happened. Sam turned what would have been a boring 5th to 6th round pick into a serious risk/reward assessment with his admission of being gay. Now teams had to weigh the media circus that was sure to follow (think Tim Tebow media circus times 100) against the potential production of a man who is frankly a marginal NFL prospect at best. Some have stated that Dungy was hypocritical because he was the first black to be hired to Chuck Noll’s staff, and what if Noll had decided not to do it because of the distractions. However this position is uninformed at best and disingenuous at worst. When Chuck Noll hired Dungy there were three TV stations plus PBS. There was no cable, no ESPN, no NFL network, and no 24/7 sports media coverage to face. Attempting to compare the “distraction” of Dungy being hired to the distraction of Sam being drafted is like trying to compare a capsized rubber boat in a bathtub to the sinking of the Titanic. In the 24/7 constant information society we live in today, Sam is a marginal player at best who will bring distractions that his play can’t cover.
    Even though Sam was SEC Co-Defensive POY most of his production came against severely inferior opposition; in the big games on Missouri’s schedule last year he was pretty much invisible. Add to this the fact that he performed miserably at the combine and you have a player that likely wouldn’t have gotten drafted under normal circumstances. Therefore you would have a very hard time convincing me that the Rams weren’t offered some sort of backroom deal from the NFL to stop Sam’s freefall out of the draft. I think that this is a very real possibility for two reasons. First, Roger Goodell put himself on the line in February saying that the NFL would accept Sam with open arms. How would it then look if Sam fell completely out of the draft? Second, defensive line is the one position where the Rams need no help. They have a stable of very solid defensive linemen led by Robert Quinn and Chris Long, and frankly Sam’s chances of making the Rams team are slim to none with the competition he’ll face in camp. Some might say that the Rams seek special teams help and see Sam there. That may be, but with a 53-man roster NFL teams don’t have the luxury of keeping players that can only contribute on special teams and the Rams would have to cut a very talented defensive lineman to make room for Sam if they kept him. It just seems very strange to me that a team that is absolutely loaded at defensive line would take a player that is very unlikely to ever become a front-line player at that position when there were other good players (many more talented than Sam) still available when the Rams picked in the seventh round. Couple these facts with Goodell’s desire to show the NFL as “progressive”, and it is easy to envision a private phone call between Goodell and the Rams’ ownership promising compensation for them agreeing to take Sam.
    Whether that is true or not, Dungy merely said what many others thought; mainly that Sam’s potential production simply wouldn’t offset the media circus that was sure to surround him, and as such Dungy would have passed on him. Dungy merely said what many thought, which was demonstrated on draft day, and kudos to him for not allowing the PC police to muzzle him.

  190. albundy4tds1game says: Jul 22, 2014 8:29 AM

    “Would love to know why being gay is being equated to being black no matter how much you try it doesn’t apply. Sorry you have zero choice to be born of color.”

    Sorry bro but it’s not a choice for me guess you are bi sexual

  191. albundy4tds1game says: Jul 22, 2014 8:33 AM

    His combine numbers are better than Vonte Burcfit,same size

  192. Washington Nearsider says: Jul 22, 2014 9:28 AM

    “And that’s where Dungy’s comments become troubling. If everyone refused to hire minorities because it could cause a distraction, no minority group would ever make any progress.”

    And this is where alleged sportswriting has jumped the shark. He was offering his opinion, nothing more than that…it’s not troubling , it doesn’t need to be analyzed to death, we don’t need over the top handwringing over it. The same things were said about Michael Vick’s return to the NFL, because that was going to be a distraction too. Nothing at all wrong with pointing that out.

  193. rablak4 says: Jul 22, 2014 9:29 AM

    It’s all about Jebus! Tebow has marginal talent as well but Dungy believes he should get another shot.

  194. raiders4life says: Jul 22, 2014 9:58 AM

    Think Dungy’s religious beliefs have an effect on his opinion to draft a gay player?

  195. jtowndolfan says: Jul 22, 2014 10:19 AM

    dungy is a giant hypocrite.

  196. thetruthcampaign says: Jul 22, 2014 10:54 AM

    Dungy never said he’d have hired Vick. He mentored Vick in prison after he was ASKED to do that.

  197. randomjoeblow says: Jul 22, 2014 11:20 AM

    The fact that Dungy actively campaigned against gay rights in Indiana while he was the coach kind of lends a little backdrop to the story — the outspoken anti-gay guy wouldn’t have drafted the gay guy because of the “distraction”. Yeah right. Just shows he feels like he would have been too weak of a coach to actually handle media attention…and he’s right.

  198. wnstonchill says: Jul 22, 2014 11:28 AM

    It’s the “mountain out of a mole hill” now! Dungy NEVER said anything derogatory against gays! Michael Sam chose to shine the spotlight on himself before he was even drafted. Dungy is correct. There’s no getting around the media frenzy and distractions created from this. The last thing a coach needs is another distraction. Keep in mind, Sam wasn’t a first rd. pick and not some super talent. Dungy was right in saying that the draft pick used wasn’t worth the trouble! The only reason Dungy is being blasted here is because he’s a Christian and this world filled with the haters like to make these people look bad because they are the real haters.

  199. uspravda says: Jul 22, 2014 11:50 AM

    Wow, the keyboard warriors are out today!

    I agree with Dungy in that Sam’s talents were evaluated and determined to be “not worth” the distraction he would cause. If Jackie Robinson’s batting wouldn’t have helped the Dodgers, he wouldn’t have been “worth it.”

    Sometimes, it’s better to let acceptance happen at its own pace rather than forcing it on others. Sam has opened the door — maybe the next openly gay player will be an undeniable talent and then only a foolish team would pass on him?

  200. RE LEE says: Jul 22, 2014 12:59 PM

    A distraction and lawsuits…. Good luck firing him…

  201. urbsports says: Jul 22, 2014 2:21 PM

    Apparently, blacks aren’t allowed to have opinions on gays without the civil rights card always being played.

    And, honestly (as a black man), I would have supported teams who passed on black players for the same reason.

    Bottom line, the positives have to outweigh the negatives, regardless of the player and his issues.

    for some, it might be as simple as just being a negative locker-room presence; for others, it’s public issues like DUIs or in Sam’s case, his sexual orientation.

    In every case, if the player is good enough, he will get a shot, and if he’s not, then he won’t.

  202. urbsports says: Jul 22, 2014 2:27 PM

    I fully support LGBT rights, but I don’t have a problem with Dungy’s comments.

    if the guy is a marginal talent, then it’s easier to take a pass. To pay devil’s advocate, however, Dungy has always been held up as a pillar of the NFL community and one would expect him (of all people) to show a little courage.

    I think if it had been the Hood or any number of coaches who are not really regarded for their personalities, then the controversy might not have been as great.

  203. Ed Bandell says: Jul 22, 2014 3:36 PM

    I don’t think Sam would have taken Dungy.

    It is a chemistry thing.

  204. anginoelle12 says: Jul 22, 2014 3:41 PM

    Dungy did not make any of these comments because of his religious beliefs nor was it anything about the comparisons to black athletes.

    Dungy has released a clarification (not that he needed to as anyone with a fraction of a brain knows what he was really trying to say).

    “On Monday afternoon while on vacation with my family, I was quite surprised to read excerpts from an interview I gave several weeks ago related to this year’s NFL Draft, and I feel compelled to clarify those remarks.

    “I was asked whether I would have drafted Michael Sam and I answered that would not have drafted him. I gave my honest answer, which is that I felt drafting him would bring much distraction to the team. At the time of my interview, the Oprah Winfrey reality show that was going to chronicle Michael’s first season had been announced.

    “I was not asked whether or not Michael Sam deserves an opportunity to play in the NFL. He absolutely does.

    “I was not asked whether his sexual orientation should play a part in the evaluation process. It should not.

    “I was not asked whether I would have a problem having Michael Sam on my team. I would not.
    I have been asked all of those questions several times in the last three months and have always answered them the same way by saying that playing in the NFL is, and should be, about merit.

    “The best players make the team, and everyone should get the opportunity to prove whether they’re good enough to play. That’s my opinion as a coach. But those were not the questions I was asked.

    “What I was asked about was my philosophy of drafting, a philosophy that was developed over the years, which was to minimize distractions for my teams.

    “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.

    “I wish Michael Sam nothing but the best in his quest to become a star in the NFL and I am confident he will get the opportunity to show what he can do on the field.

    “My sincere hope is that we will be able to focus on his play and not on his sexual orientation.”

    Complete respect to Coach Dungy on this.

  205. timtomandkevin says: Jul 22, 2014 4:00 PM

    Dungy has established himself as a hardcore bigot for a while now. Search for Dungy Bigotry and if you get past the current stuff there is a bleacher report article from 2007 where he says the EXACT same thing, other than no real person to say he would not accept to work with. He also won an award from a religious extremist group for saying he wanted to deny gay people rights (and was in a managerial position to act on those inclinations.)

  206. missjanenc says: Jul 22, 2014 4:08 PM

    If Sam hadn’t come out when he did (just in time for draft consideration) would he have garnered this much attention? I don’t give a rat’s hiney who or what he has sex with. The point is can he cut it on the playing field but the media lemmings are too wrapped up in the gay story. The worst part is if he can’t cut it there will be those who will make excuses that Sam’s sexual orientation was a distraction that interfered with his ability to concentrate on the game.

  207. frank1971 says: Jul 22, 2014 4:52 PM

    So we have a bunch of pasty white Liberal sports writers who are carrying out a proverbial lynching against a good and decent man who happens to be black, and yet this isn’t racism?

  208. ecade25 says: Jul 22, 2014 5:33 PM

    What funny is there were about 10 linebackers that were better than Sams still on the Board in the 7th round and all media promotes is Sams going to be drafted, this put the league in a bad position do they not draft a football player because he’s too small,too slow is a one trick pony who can’t move in space drop back in zone coverage or cover running backs man to man , Or do they draft this guy for political reasons to keep the gay community happy . I personally would of liked Mike Sams to rely on his football skills no one needs to know about what he does on his own time that’s his business but his agents knew that coming out would make him a celebrity either way and put Football in a Bad spot .. .

  209. ecade25 says: Jul 22, 2014 5:52 PM

    The Difference Between Jackie Robinson and Sams is The Black Players had to form their own leagues they weren’t allowed around white players or on the same bus as white player or at the same restaurant as the white players and if he was allowed in the restaurant he had to eat in the back away from the white players couldn’t drink out the same water fountain as white players , Sams can play any sport he wants eat anywhere he wants do whatever he wants there are no gay only restroom let’s stop comparing the two no comparisons . Sams could of relied on his football skills he didn’t need to come out no one would of known what he does on his own time , Robinson didn’t have option to not come out his skin color is right in front of you can’t hide that ..

  210. timtomandkevin says: Jul 22, 2014 7:49 PM

    ecade25- There were black people who could pass for white (using the definitions set by law at the time), and would lie to avoid being segregated. So, I am going with same thing.

  211. lucky5936 says: Jul 22, 2014 10:54 PM

    Look at the media attention Sam received the moment he was drafted. Oprah wanted him, talk shows wanted him, and they even wanted to film him in camp. This all within the first few weeks after the NFL Draft. Granted, it is a the off-season, but just imagine the amount of attention in training camp. Dungy was right to say he wouldn’t have drafted Sam, but it has nothing to do with him being gay. Unfortunately, it has everything to do with the media’s desire to publicize this young man’s every move and feeling. I would dare bet Dungy would have avoided Johnny Manziel as well.

  212. eastsidehunky says: Jul 23, 2014 9:13 AM

    Dungy;’s right, Fisher’s wrong, marginal talent with a full circus of distractions. Fisher should be fired for picking this sodomite who will be cut by end of training camp

  213. ecade25 says: Jul 23, 2014 9:39 AM

    timtomandkevin , I agree but what I would of liked to see Sams do was rely on his Football skills get established as a Football Player then if you becomes a starter or role player based on your football skill and at that time if you want to come out , Great but everyone will just look at him as a Football player not a gay football player ..

  214. politicallyincorrect says: Jul 23, 2014 2:26 PM

    pressure to be PC has run amuk and is killing us all

    please stick your honest feelings Tony..

    I too do not approve of gay lifestyle.. and I do not think it is normal or something to be presented as an option

    however, (and I have been a long time sales hiring manager) I have NEVER not hired the best or acted in a discriminatory way….

    if Sam can play, he should play.. period… but it is wrong for some to give others grief for not condoning the lifestyle

    and I do believe Sam has attempted to bring the gay issue front and center.. right from the draft where he hissed his partner (which I feel is sick and disgusting)

    but discrimination is wrong and should not be tolerated

    and my views and feelings are not at odds

    1 0

  215. theparadoxx82 says: Jul 25, 2014 10:28 AM

    NO head coach wants a late round draft pick who had a disapointing combine..

    Who, by the way, basically CAN’T be cut.

    NO head coach, ever, anywhere, in any sport, in the history of athletic activity.

    Team captains for a 3rd grade gym class softball game understand this concept perfectly.

  216. realphinsfan says: Jul 25, 2014 12:07 PM

    I support marriage in general, I don’t care who is getting married to who. Being gay is not a moral issue. The issue at hand is the distraction that Michael Sam brings in. Teams learned from the Tebow situation. They learned that you don’t put a big commitment into a guy who not only is followed by a spectacle, but seems to welcome it with open arms.

  217. txraiderfan says: Jul 27, 2014 4:20 PM

    Of course not! Dungy and Rush Limbaugh would make Tim Tebow their starting QB too

  218. numberoneinthehoodg says: Jul 28, 2014 12:39 AM

    Tony Dungy: “I wouldn’t have taken Michael Sam”

    No God fearing Christian wants used goods right? Isn’t that what he’s saying?

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