It’s been the biggest discussion all week when you turn on ESPN. Michael Sam has become a household name since announcing to the world in February that he is an openly gay man and he became the first openly gay draft prospect. He’s a good football player. He has good speed and was a phenomenal edge rusher at the university of Missouri. In May, he made more history as he became the first openly gay NFL player. He was selected by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round. He’s been all over the place. He recently just accepted the Arthur Ashe courage award at the 2014 Espy Awards. Michael does deserve to play. When I was asked about him prior to the draft I simply stated that I could care less about his sexual orientation. If he can contribute then I’m all for him joining our team. There will also be opinions and people will feel a certain way. Former head coach and current analyst Tony Dungy recently stated that he wouldn’t have drafted Michael because he wouldn’t want to “deal with the distraction”. He would then clear up his comments stating that Michael does deserve to play and he was discussing this from a drafting philosophy.
Here’s my take on all of this: Tony was asked a question and he answered truthfully. That is what his job description entitles. He is an analyst who will give his opinion. That’s what analysis is, opinions. He’s entitled to have and give his opinion. I truly feel his words were taken out of context because people feel he bashed Michael Sam. I’ve seen so much of Tony over the years from his coaching days at Tampa to a very successful stint in Indianapolis and now as an analyst. He’s extremely humble and well-respected by many people and he is the last person to bash anybody or belittle a person. I spoke with a radio associate of mine prior to our show about this and he stated it in this way: Let’s put this in a pie chart form. About 10 percent of his comments were based on his faith. Tony is a man known for having a strong faith and is very active in the church. Then my radio associate would go on to say that the other 80 percent of his comments were from a head coach’s perspective so I can see where he’s coming from. When you look back at the teams he coached, he bought a blue collar approach to his teams. No distractions and I think what he was stating was that if he did draft a guy like Michael Sam, the media would focus more on him as a person and not a football player.
You can’t knock somebody for having an opinion. He even admitted that he could’ve worded his statement much differently and I agree with that but the man did his job. Not everybody will agree with analysis. Even when I give my analysis on anything relating to football it’s all opinions because I know not everybody will agree with what I say and how I will view some things about the game in general.