One day after Tony Dungy came under fire for saying he wouldn’t have drafted Michael Sam, the former NFL coach is attempting to clarify his remarks.
Dungy released a statement Tuesday to elaborate on his comments. Dungy said Sam deserves a fair shot to play in the NFL but believes the media circus surrounding the now-St. Louis Rams pass rusher would be a distraction.
“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,” Dungy said. “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.”
Dungy did say he would not have a problem with Sam, a seventh-round draft pick, on his team and that his sexual orientation would not play a part in his evaluation process.
“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.”
Avoiding distraction from the media was a reason why many teams avoided Tim Tebow after his release from the New England Patriots. It would be interesting to ask Dungy how he’d like having guys like Tebow or Johnny Manziel on his team.