By Ray Boyd
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — One of the stories of the last NFL Draft was the selection of Michael Sam, the first openly gay player in the NFL. With training camps across the nation opening this week, the attention will undoubtedly descend upon Rams camp to see if Sam can become the first openly gay player to make an NFL roster.
One of the most respected minds in football, Tony Dungy, gave an interesting perspective on the situation.
I wouldn’t have taken him,” Dungy said of the Missouri product in an interview with the Tampa Bay 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.”
Tony Dungy has always seemed to be a proponent of opportunities. He was an outspoken supporter for Michael Vick and his return to the NFL and encouraged teams to give Vick a chance despite the perceived distraction that it could bring to a locker room.
Would Sam be anymore of a distraction to a team than Vick ultimately was?
Dungy himself overcame hurdles as he became the league’s first African-American head coach to lead a team to a Super Bowl victory when his Indianapolis Colts defeated the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI. Throughout his career, Dungy has been a strong proponent for giving minorities equal coaching opportunities in the league.
Dungy, who is now a football analyst, is certainly entitled to his opinion and when analyzing it from the perspective of running a franchise, there may be some merit to his stance. Remember, Sam did not go until the late 7th round, despite being projected as a 3rd or 4th round pick. Obviously, other people had a similar mindset to Dungy.
It just seems a little contrary to the attitude we have come to expect from Dungy who has always seemed like an advocate for giving someone a chance no matter what their life circumstance might be.
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