Highly successful former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy created a firestorm recently when he was asked by a reporter if, were he still a head coach, he would have drafted Michael Sam, the first openly homosexual player taken in the NFL draft. He answered, “I wouldn’t have taken him. 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.”
Several sport writers quickly condemned Dungy for his insensitivity and his bigotry. They said that Dungy, who is black, should know better than anyone about overcoming discrimination in professional sports and that his comment was insulting to Sam in particular and to homosexuals in general. Yahoo Sports writer Dan Wetzel was vicious in his commentary:
Dungy is an outspoken conservative Christian and if he were to say that he wouldn’t have drafted Michael Sam because the Bible that Dungy believes in condemns Sam’s lifestyle that would be . . . well, that would be ridiculous, hypocritical and wrong also, but at least it would seemingly jibe with Dungy’s sometimes expressed beliefs.
Notice that Wetzel was not content with criticizing only Dungy. He directed his ire at the Bible, also, and by doing so, tooks a shot at everyone who looks to the Bible for guidance. As I have written in the past, those who favor the homosexual lifestyle, must, in the process, reject God.
Another sports writer noted that Dungy has another “sin” that should garner further condemnation. What was this terrible transgression? Apparently, he once received an award from a pro-traditional marriage organization. So not only would he not draft Michael Sam, but he also believes that marriage is reserved for male/female relationships, a position, by the way, held by President Obama until just recently. I don’t recall Wetzel writing a scathing article about Obama’s homophobic position, but perhaps I missed it.
Keith Olbermann, now back on ESPN sports, announced that he was “presenting” Dungy with his “World’s Worst Person” award. I’m not sure, but perhaps Olbermann was relinquishing the title.
Mr. Dungy issued a clarifying statement in which he said that Sam deserves to have a chance to play and should not be discriminated against simply because his lifestyle. The only criterium should be that of playing ability. But he reiterated that, during his coaching days, he had a policy that he would not draft a person who would be a distraction to his team and that Sam would be such a distraction.
Of course, those who had taken Dungy to task “piled on” (Sorry. I couldn’t help it.) and said the “distraction” argument was phony and a sign of cowardice on Dungy’s part.
But is the distraction argument never valid? Consider the following quotes:
“If it came down to it, I’d rather have T.O. (Terrell Owens) on my team than him. One’s bad energy, and one’s good–but a distraction is still a distraction.”–Anonymous NFC offensive coordinator.
“Jaguar’s head coach Mike Mularkey . . . mentioned that he didn’t want to deal with the distractions that would come from adding him to the roster.”–NFL Trade Rumors
“There’s a HUGE potential problem for any team bringing him in, though: He will become a massive distraction.”–Lorenzo Arguello, Business Insider.
“He seems like a great guy to have on a team . . . But it’s just not worth dealing with all the stuff that comes with it.”–Anonymous AFC coach
“. . . from an outsider looking in, having him there doesn’t bring anything positive. It just brings distraction.”–Former pro quarterback Jeff Garcia.
“ He presents an unusual distraction.”–Johnette Howard, ESPNNewyork.com
Clearly, Dungy is not the only person connected to the NFL that talks about distractions for a team. But the above quotes are not about Michael Sam. Instead, all the personal pronouns (my editing) refer to Tim Tebow. And how did he become a distraction? Primarily, it was his faith and his penchant for praying during a game. A lot of sports writers, TV analysts, coaches and players were irritated by the public exercise of his faith.
But when the sources above considered his presence a distraction, where was the outrage? Why wasn’t Coach Mularkey, Lorenzo Arguello, and Jeff Garcia raked over the coals for their obvious anti-Christian bias? Even Super Bowl Champion Coach Pete Carroll once called Tebow’s presence on the Jets a distraction. Why did he escape criticism?
Of course, we all know the answer: Homosexuals are a special class worthy of special treatment, whereas outspoken Christian athletes and coaches are just . . . just . . . well, so darn embarrassing. You know what I mean?