Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam

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Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:14 am
  • Here is what Dungy said (separate quotes).

    I wouldn’t have taken him, 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.


    Dungy backtracked somewhat (I assume the second quote came later):

    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.


    Maybe Dungy should have said no comment. But IMO, what he said was really just what 31 other NFL teams thought.

    Rather than engage Dungy's premise or simply write it off as his opinion, many in the media have chosen to attack Dungy, hinting at him being anti-homosexual, using his Christian faith as evidence. The article linked above even mentions the really good things Dungy has done as evidence against him. The premise being, that Dungy is willing to stick up for a dog killer, but not for a g** man.

    First, I am kind of offended that we are making judgements about someone based on their religion. How can we say we are for progress if we engage in religious stereotypes? Second, why should it matter what his religious is? How can we prove that has anything to do with his conclusion?

    Whether it is Mark Cuban or Tony Dungy, it concerns me that we can't have a two-sided civil discussion about race or sexual orientation without getting attacked by a mob shouting down discussion and going into character assassination mode. While the intentions are good, the bullying method is both ironic and hypocritical.

    I can only criticize Dungy in two areas. The first is that saying 'no comment' would have been smarter, but I also think that if we as a society aren't able to have a common sense discussion about these topics without inviting a $h!t, then such a thing is an issue unto itself.

    The second is that his first quote, at least to me, implies locker room issues WILL happen. He probably should have said "there's a chance things could happen, and that's not a risk I would be comfortable with." He could have rounded the edges on that quote slightly.

    I feel bad for Dungy. Pete Carroll was asked the same question earlier this year and gave the same answer, but it slipped under the radar with the media, and right now I'm betting Pete is really glad it did.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:13 am
  • Dungy, IMO, was not back tracking but simply clarifying. I agree with him wholeheartedly. If Jadeveon Clowney were g** there might have been some teams not interested in drafting him but IMO he wouldn't have fallen to the 7th round. The issue is whether a team is ready to take the media storm for a marginal player and if he isn't worthy of the 53 man roster is the team ready to take the storm for cutting him. Mizzou proved there isn't an issue in the lockerroom.

    In Seattle there is no doubt he wouldn't make this team. Jeffcoat would likely beat him out for a spot on the practice squad. In St. Louis it's going to be interesting to see if he makes the opening day roster. Does he dress for the games?

    Some people in the media are trying to make the comparison to Jackie Robinson. That's crazy. Jackie was a great talent who immediately helped the Dodgers and was worth the "distractions". If a team isn't interested in taking in all the storm for a special teams player I completely understand. Earlier in the spring I suggested the Hawks should invite Sam to rookie camp. I was shocked that anyone would draft him. I'm pleased that a competitor has chosen to waste a draft choice on him.

    He's seems like a LEO but of course Pete and John like their players talented and athletic and he is low on both. It doesn't mean he can't play somewhere but I totally understand what Dungy was saying and I KNOW it had nothing to do with bigotry.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:13 am
  • I'll give Tony the benefit of the doubt on this one. Touchy subject for a lot of people. Too much of the media is just about stirring the pot just to get looks.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:25 am
  • sutz wrote:I'll give Tony the benefit of the doubt on this one. Touchy subject for a lot of people. Too much of the media is just about stirring the pot just to get looks.

    I generally like Tony, but I think this goes with the territory when you go public with your religion and your religious beliefs.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:34 am
  • His religious beliefs had nothing to do with it, Michael Sam is Tebow x500000.

    The media attention is ridiculous for one man, its almost disgusting to see the attention. Happy for Sam, smiled and all that when he got drafted, but the media is detrimental to teams, all you gotta do is look at Hard Knock's and the teams they cover.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:45 am
  • Throwdown wrote:His religious beliefs had nothing to do with it, Michael Sam is Tebow x500000.


    Not really. Not even really close. Im not even sure he is even with Tebow let alone Xwhatever. Did you see Tebows introduction presser? The part is Rams will keep thing buckled in where as Jets wanted it. Plus NY to St Louis. Not close.

    Sorry if someone else mentioned it but its kind of crappy how this entire thing came about. The guy from Tampa was on radio here yesterday. He was interviewing him about Derrick Brooks and they took a break. It was during that break that he was asked about Sam. The guy said Dungy knew the recirder was on so he should have known it was on the record. Still kind of cheap.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:19 am
  • Dungy said nothing wrong IMO. A lot of people are looking to jump on any comment to show they support Sam. I support him but some of this is getting pretty ridiculous
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:40 am
  • -The Glove- wrote:Dungy said nothing wrong IMO. A lot of people are looking to jump on any comment to show they support Sam. I support him but some of this is getting pretty ridiculous


    Thats how I'm seeing it, He said what 31 other teams felt.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:13 am
  • It's a good thing Branch Rickey didn't feel the same way about Jackie Robinson.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:19 am
  • The problem with the Tebow comparison is that Dungy already went on the record saying that he would love to have Tebow on his team. So he is fine with distractions, just not hom******* ones? It is well documented about his thoughts on g** marriage. I kinda think Tony Dungy just stepped in it here, and it isn't going to go away painlessly.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:25 pm
  • Smelly McUgly wrote:It's a good thing Branch Rickey didn't feel the same way about Jackie Robinson.

    Jackie Robinson was just the first openly black man in baseball. There were lots of black men in MLB before him, they just weren't open about their racial orientation.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:00 pm
  • As much progress as we have made as a species, it is so incredible that there are so many flaky people on this planet.

    Take a look at Stern. He employs black men to try and win him a championship, then says all that.

    Sam is g** ..BFD, just play football.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:59 pm
  • Tical21 wrote:The problem with the Tebow comparison is that Dungy already went on the record saying that he would love to have Tebow on his team. So he is fine with distractions, just not hom******* ones? It is well documented about his thoughts on g** marriage. I kinda think Tony Dungy just stepped in it here, and it isn't going to go away painlessly.


    Dungy also put his arm around Michael Vick and vouched for him. As if a convicted dog killer was zero distraction.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:00 pm
  • Largent80 wrote:As much progress as we have made as a species, it is so incredible that there are so many flaky people on this planet.

    Take a look at Stern. He employs black men to try and win him a championship, then says all that.

    Sam is g** ..BFD, just play football.

    Sterling.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:54 pm
  • There are bigoted a*hole in this world. Like Richie Incognito. But what Richie Incognito did, while extreme in nature, is something that occurs to a lesser extent in most NFL locker rooms. When "bully-gate" got out of control, the spiraling mess resulted in coaches getting fired. The GM lost his job too, and the head coach is now officially on thin ice. This is why coaches are afraid of having Sam on their team. Because there is a very decent chance that it 1 out of the other 52 guys could start issues out of their own homophobia or bigotry. It is not a comment on Sam, it is a comment on the other 52 guys.

    This kind of thing wasn't an issue for Tebow or Vick, which makes the comparison hollow. Although it is true that even right now, Sam is a huge media distraction, which also is a point in Dungy's favor.

    (I also don't think that Vick really counts as a media distraction. He was a damaged goods backup QB just fighting to get a tryout when Dungy reached out to him, his first year in Philly did not generate much press at all.)

    Regardless, you can acknowledge this risk while still wanting to find a way for g** athletes to play in pro-sports. And that's what Dungy said. Dungy was very clear that he believes Sam deserves a chance to play. Dungy is one of the ultimate stand-up coaches. We should take him at his word. Nothing he said shows that he takes issue with Sam being an NFL player.

    All he said is that he didn't feel comfortable with the risk, not because of Sam, but because the odds are decent that one of the other 52 players could start problems that spiral into a potential job-killing $h!t. This is a view shared by pretty much everyone else running NFL teams, save Fisher and Snead. I say good for those guys, but we can't expect everyone else to be as ballsy as they were.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:13 pm
  • You could also construe, because of how Dungy phrased his remark, that it was a thinly veiled left handed dig at the guy asking the question, and media in general.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:06 pm
  • kearly wrote:There are bigoted a*hole in this world. Like Richie Incognito. But what Richie Incognito did, while extreme in nature, is something that occurs to a lesser extent in most NFL locker rooms. When "bully-gate" got out of control, the spiraling mess resulted in coaches getting fired. The GM lost his job too, and the head coach is now officially on thin ice. This is why coaches are afraid of having Sam on their team. Because there is a very decent chance that it 1 out of the other 52 guys could start issues out of their own homophobia or bigotry. It is not a comment on Sam, it is a comment on the other 52 guys.

    This kind of thing wasn't an issue for Tebow or Vick, which makes the comparison hollow. Although it is true that even right now, Sam is a huge media distraction, which also is a point in Dungy's favor.

    (I also don't think that Vick really counts as a media distraction. He was a damaged goods backup QB just fighting to get a tryout when Dungy reached out to him, his first year in Philly did not generate much press at all.)

    Regardless, you can acknowledge this risk while still wanting to find a way for g** athletes to play in pro-sports. And that's what Dungy said. Dungy was very clear that he believes Sam deserves a chance to play. Dungy is one of the ultimate stand-up coaches. We should take him at his word. Nothing he said shows that he takes issue with Sam being an NFL player.

    All he said is that he didn't feel comfortable with the risk, not because of Sam, but because the odds are decent that one of the other 52 players could start problems that spiral into a potential job-killing $h!t. This is a view shared by pretty much everyone else running NFL teams, save Fisher and Snead. I say good for those guys, but we can't expect everyone else to be as ballsy as they were.

    Dungy said distraction. Vick and Tebow were both distractions so I dont see how you can simply discount them. The Jets wanted a circus and they got it. Vicks spot on the depth chart didnt makr him less of a distraction and neither is Sams.

    As far as jerks like Incognito goes, they do exist but that culture was allowed to exist and even promoted in Miami by the coaches.

    Dungy has been outspoken about same $ex marriage so its hard to simply lend benefit of the doubt in this particular situation just because he is a swell guy.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:31 am
  • Do I think Dungy's person feelings might leak through here? Sure. But he isn't lying either. The media $h!t that comes with this guy isn't worth it. Not because the $h!t storm isn't that bad, but because the player just isn't that good. Which is what Dungy didn't say.

    By the time Vick was an animal rights protest waiting to happen, everybody knew he could tilt the field. The Jets have a stupid owner who wanted his team on TV, He craved the $h!t, so that example is out the window, and like him or not, by that time Tebow had a playoff win under his belt, so there was a sliver of logic to taking on the media crush that comes with him.

    And letting Vick or Tebow go from your team, even cutting them, does not get you called a bigot. Which is the real risk of drafting Sam. Cut him, and some media @$$h0le somewhere is going to label you.

    Sam is an athletically marginal player who I don't think would have been drafted at all if Roger didn't call in a favor from his rules committee buddy, Jeff Fisher. Because Roger didn't want the league called bigoted either, and after CNN called him a round 2 prospect, the label would have been applied.

    Add to that, we find out Sam has been heaping on media attention too. A planned smooch with his partner when drafted, a reality show with Oprah...he wasn't deflecting attention, which was the wise course, he was creating more.


    The sad reality is that Dungy should have known that no comment was a wiser thing to say, because people with non football interests in this particular player will rule the media spin.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:29 am
  • Im not disputing Vick or Tebow or their circumstances. What I am pointing out is that Dungy publicly put his arm around Vick and was in contact with teams trying to help Vick find a home and he has said he would love to have Tebow on his team. Tebow asks for the attention as much as anyone. Taking his shirt off after practice, choosing NY over hometown Jags.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:11 am
  • Tim Tebow was a far bigger distraction.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:24 pm
  • SonicHawk wrote:Tim Tebow was a far bigger distraction.

    I agree.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:51 pm
  • CALIHAWK1 wrote:Im not disputing Vick or Tebow or their circumstances. What I am pointing out is that Dungy publicly put his arm around Vick and was in contact with teams trying to help Vick find a home and he has said he would love to have Tebow on his team. Tebow asks for the attention as much as anyone. Taking his shirt off after practice, choosing NY over hometown Jags.


    Simply disagree on Tebow and Vick. They were both totally different situations. Vick was a non-story after the Eagles signed him. Tebow was a much bigger media event than Sam, but didn't have the risk of a locker room nuclear disaster. I do think that Dungy's faith very likely played a factor in his Tebow fandom, but I would not say the same about his Sam comments. Why are those "Christian" comments on Sam when many other teams thought the same exact thing and are not devout Christians themselves?

    Sam is not the first openly g** player in a major sport. Neither is Jason Collins. In 1990, there was a UK soccer player by the name Justin Fashanu who came out near the end of his career. Obviously, Europe is a lot more progressive on the topic of homosexuality than the US, so you would think his decision would have gone relatively smoothly.

    But while the mainstream culture of Europe is very progressive, the sports culture there is vicious and reactionary. Anti-gay slurs are commonly chanted at soccer matches to insult opposing players, etc. Fashanu wasn't just the first openly g** player, he was also the first black player to earn a one million pound transfer fee. He was actually a pretty good player in the pros.

    Unfortunately, he took a lot of abuse for his sexuality from fans, teammates, and even family, and it would eventually result in him taking his own life.

    Distractions don't get any bigger than that. There has only been one other active UK soccer player to come out in the 2+ decades that followed.

    Now, I do think that most people in the Rams locker room will probably be on their best behavior and I'm not saying that Sam is a disaster waiting to happen. But clearly the risk is there, and this has been underscored by numerous bigoted / homophobic tweets by NFL players over the past year, including the day Sam was drafted and kissed his boyfriend.
    Last edited by kearly on Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:57 pm
  • Yeah, when I think 'progressive' I think European soccer.

    Tim Tebow was and still is a bigger distraction than Sam. Sam is a late round pick who happens to be g**. Tim Tebow was an enormous 1st round superstar with the kind of attitude that most normal humans found obnoxious.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:00 pm
  • SonicHawk wrote:Yeah, when I think 'progressive' I think European soccer.


    That is exactly my point. Whatever we think society is, the environment in a pro-sports locker room can be radically different. And we know it is in the NFL, based on testimonials from players, coaches and execs, as well as direct evidence from tweets from bigoted / homophobic players.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:17 pm
  • I don't personally think Tebow or Vick are on the same hemisphere as this, especially Tebow. As a teammate, he could be as big of a media attraction for any reason possible, and you would be able to handle it. Any teammate could handle it. It isn't like a teammate is going to freak out about it. But when you're showering next to a guy that finds other naked guys attractive, it has the potential of being at the very least, a little weird. There is a chance some guys can't handle it. There is about a 100% chance that some opposing players are going to say unfathomable things. I agree with Dungy that this isn't going to go as smoothly as we all hope it does.

    The one thing that completely baffles me about Dungy's comment is that he says that Sam deserves a shot in the NFL. At the same time saying he wouldn't give him a shot. Which one is it?
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:30 pm
  • Tony Dungy is just saying the same thing that most owners said before they hired him.... 'Well, yeah, he should get a chance... but I don't know if 'we're' ready'.

    Man up, realize that even though it's a big deal, it won't be a big deal. Shove it down people's faces enough, they'll have to learn to live with it or die being unhappy.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:16 pm
  • Tical21 wrote:I don't personally think Tebow or Vick are on the same hemisphere as this, especially Tebow. As a teammate, he could be as big of a media attraction for any reason possible, and you would be able to handle it. Any teammate could handle it. It isn't like a teammate is going to freak out about it. But when you're showering next to a guy that finds other naked guys attractive, it has the potential of being at the very least, a little weird. There is a chance some guys can't handle it. There is about a 100% chance that some opposing players are going to say unfathomable things. I agree with Dungy that this isn't going to go as smoothly as we all hope it does.

    The one thing that completely baffles me about Dungy's comment is that he says that Sam deserves a shot in the NFL. At the same time saying he wouldn't give him a shot. Which one is it?



    Now your assuming and speaking for 20 year olds? All his teammates at Mizzou knew and none "freaked out about it." I think you think most young people care way more than they actually do. Im not saying all.

    @ Kearly, I never said Christian but since you brought it up, Dungy is openly, vocally is opposed to g** marriage. 31 nfl teams havent taken that stance publicly. The interviewer knew all this and baited him.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:23 pm
  • Former fellow poster Doug Farrar summed it up best:


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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:58 pm
  • CALIHAWK1 wrote:@ Kearly, I never said Christian but since you brought it up, Dungy is openly, vocally is opposed to g** marriage. 31 nfl teams havent taken that stance publicly. The interviewer knew all this and baited him.


    I addressed this in a different thread but the short version is that whether or not Dungy's views played a factor, his reasoning is the same as 31 other teams so it's essentially a moot point.

    This same question was asked of Pete Carroll in an interview a few months back and he (in fewer words) gave the same answer. You know Pete's a progressive guy, I don't think for a second Pete hates gays. It really is just a question of risk management and making more of it than that is being unfair to Dungy.

    RolandDeschain wrote:Former fellow poster Doug Farrar summed it up best.


    So what about all the non-black, non-christian coaches and GMs who agree with him? Is Tony Dungy obligated to draft Michael Sam just because Dungy is black? Is Dungy a hypocrite for holding the same opinion as almost everyone else just because he happens to be black?

    Citing race and religion just strikes me as a convenient way of avoiding the merits of what Dungy is saying.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Sat Aug 02, 2014 1:48 am
  • kearly wrote:
    CALIHAWK1 wrote:@ Kearly, I never said Christian but since you brought it up, Dungy is openly, vocally is opposed to g** marriage. 31 nfl teams havent taken that stance publicly. The interviewer knew all this and baited him.


    I addressed this in a different thread but the short version is that whether or not Dungy's views played a factor, his reasoning is the same as 31 other teams so it's essentially a moot point.

    This same question was asked of Pete Carroll in an interview a few months back and he (in fewer words) gave the same answer. You know Pete's a progressive guy, I don't think for a second Pete hates gays. It really is just a question of risk management and making more of it than that is being unfair to Dungy.

    RolandDeschain wrote:Former fellow poster Doug Farrar summed it up best.


    So what about all the non-black, non-christian coaches and GMs who agree with him? Is Tony Dungy obligated to draft Michael Sam just because Dungy is black? Is Dungy a hypocrite for holding the same opinion as almost everyone else just because he happens to be black?

    Citing race and religion just strikes me as a convenient way of avoiding the merits of what Dungy is saying.


    To be frank, yes. It is expected of Dungy to back Sam up. Fortunately, those expectations arent reality and I'm glad Dungy spoke out on his own accord
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:31 am
  • kearly wrote:
    CALIHAWK1 wrote:@ Kearly, I never said Christian but since you brought it up, Dungy is openly, vocally is opposed to g** marriage. 31 nfl teams havent taken that stance publicly. The interviewer knew all this and baited him.


    I addressed this in a different thread but the short version is that whether or not Dungy's views played a factor, his reasoning is the same as 31 other teams so it's essentially a moot point.

    This same question was asked of Pete Carroll in an interview a few months back and he (in fewer words) gave the same answer. You know Pete's a progressive guy, I don't think for a second Pete hates gays. It really is just a question of risk management and making more of it than that is being unfair to Dungy.

    RolandDeschain wrote:Former fellow poster Doug Farrar summed it up best.


    So what about all the non-black, non-christian coaches and GMs who agree with him? Is Tony Dungy obligated to draft Michael Sam just because Dungy is black? Is Dungy a hypocrite for holding the same opinion as almost everyone else just because he happens to be black?

    Citing race and religion just strikes me as a convenient way of avoiding the merits of what Dungy is saying.


    Dismiss it all you want. He has said he would love Tebow on his team and is THE ONE that put his arm around Vick and endorsed him. 32 teams want no part of Tebow because he is a distraction and marginal. Call Vick a non issue but I would say PETA etc protesting outside of stadiums is a distraction. If you choose to ignore facts thats fine. Dont dance and dress it as something other than what it is. Sam is a distraction. Tebow and Vick, at the time were too. He had no problem with two out of three.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:23 am
  • 32 teams don't want Tebow because he's garbage. The same reason that [hopefully] no one will want Sam in 3 years.

    People put up with a whole bunch of crap and distractions when it comes to athletes. A human interest story like Sam is hardly a unique situation (while the specifics may be). The only distraction you should care about is in the locker room, and for a guy like Sam, it's the other players fault if they are distracted.

    Dungy's comments weren't valid. They were ridiculous and backed by years of machoism, and anti-homosexuality.

    If Sam gets cut, I will have no doubt that he will be cut because of his inability to perform at an NFL level. Because when it comes down to it, when it comes to exercises and drills and play on the field, none of that ancillary crap matters.
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Re: Tony Dungy comments on Michael Sam
Sat Aug 09, 2014 2:52 pm
  • Sam's teamates in college didn't give a crap out his sexual orientation--they hung out at g** bars with him. It's a non issue. The media needs these non-stories during the draft just because there's nothing else going on. Sam's pro teammates won't care, they'll just "play ball". I don't know why I put that in quotes.
    Lords of Scythia
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