Michael Sam, gay player.
Michael Sam, gay player.
Distraction, please go away. Michael Vick, dog killer. Deserves a chance.
Please explain the logic, Tony Dungy.
The man who said he wouldn't have drafted Michael Sam because he is a distraction is the same man who stood in Michael Vick's corner when a large number of poochie-lovers were putting together a lynch mob to extract revenge on Vick.
Vick's crime was dog-fighting. Those who didn't make the cut were shot, beaten and electrocuted. Three dogs were hanged, according to a report by the USDA inspector general, "by placing a nylon cord over a 2x4 that was nailed to two trees." Three more dogs drowned after Vick's crew put their heads in a 5 gallon bucket of water.
Sam's crime? He kissed a guy. On National TV, the day he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams.
He became the NFL's first openly-gay player, triggering the usual liberal-conservative crossfire of whether this was the greatest thing in the history of sports or the end of the world as we know it.
Dungy has a very valid point about the distraction thing. It will indeed be a media circus with Sam during training camp. Don't you think that the Rams' management thought it through?
But Dungy has a serious problem on his hands trying to explain why a gay player is a bigger distraction than a guy who killed dogs. Since, you know, that wasn't a big story (sarcasm).
It shouldn't matter if Sam is straight, gay or abstains from sex. All that matters is whether he can play football. And while calling him "courageous" may be a stretch for some, you can see why other gay players in the NFL — of course there are more — have not come out.
And it's because of this type of nonsense.
"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."
Memo to Tony Dungy. Jackie Robinson was a distraction. Like you, he was a black man. But he took the bullet for all black athletes by becoming the first black player in major league baseball in 1947.
There's a difference between the color of skin and one's sexual orientation. But the common denominator is that at one point in history, blacks and gays were once deemed unacceptable in the locker room.
Dungy is a man of faith, of course, and of strong moral convictions. He is highly respected as a coach. I, for one, have always been a big fan.
And I'm fine that he is a big believer in second chances, too. He was at the front of the line when it came to supporting Vick, posting a defense of Vick in his blog in July of 2009.
"I believe in second chances for people who admit their mistakes and are committed to changing," Dungy said.
But apparently Tony Dungy is not a big believer in first chances for someone who has made no mistakes, and all he is asking for is an opportunity.
And your rationale is because you "wouldn't want to deal with all of it."