Tony Dungy wouldn’t have drafted Michael Sam. He won’t be getting a reality-television show from Oprah or a shout-out from the president for his candor.
“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.”
Most NFL GMs opted to pass on Sam, too. Despite the openly gay pass rusher’s appearance on Sports Illustrated and his boosters scoffing at the notion of him falling into the late rounds, the Rams selected the University of Missouri defensive end with the 249th pick on the final day of the draft. So, whether or not NFL GMs publicly second Dungy’s opinion seems a moot question. Dungy is really seconding their opinion with his statement. Just four teams remained on the board when the Rams drafted Sam, so every front office in the NFL, save for those of the Cowboys, Falcons, Rams, Texans, and Bengals, can’t say they would have drafted Michael Sam if given the chance. Michael Sam remained on the board when they had exhausted all of their picks.
“It’s not going to be totally smooth,” the NBC Sunday Night Football analyst believes, “things will happen.”
Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com, owned by the television network that employs Dungy, dubs the former Bucs and Colts coach’s remarks “troubling.” Will Brinson of CBS Sports calls Dungy’s honesty a “shame” and “disappointing.” A writer at SB Nation labels Dungy’s assessment “spectacularly ignorant.”
Now, really, what does a guy who won Super Bowls as a player and coach know about NFL locker rooms?