Dungy tries to clarify Sam remarks

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  1. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

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    View: http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/11248177/tony-dungy-clarifies-comments-michael-sam-st-louis-rams

    Dungy: Sam deserves NFL chance


    Tony Dungy sought Tuesday to clarify remarks he made regarding Michael Sam, saying the openly gay linebacker who was drafted by the St. Louis Rams "absolutely" deserves a chance to play in the NFL.
    The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts coach said he would be concerned only with the distraction that media coverage of Sam's attempt to make the roster would create if he were his coach.
    Dungy's comments to the Tampa Tribune for a story published Sunday created a backlash within traditional and social media. On Tuesday, in a statement released to media outlets, Dungy said he gave an "honest answer" to questions about Sam. Dungy said his comments were made to the newspaper several weeks ago, when "the Oprah Winfrey reality show that was going to chronicle Michael's first season had been announced."
    The time frame of when Dungy made his remarks is in question. Tribune reporter Ira Kaufman told "The Dan Patrick Show" on Tuesday afternoon that he talked to Dungy "a week or two back." Also, Winfrey's planned documentary of Sam's rookie season was postponed in mid-May -- long before Dungy was interviewed by the Tribune, according to Kaufman.


    Sam, speaking on Tuesday after St. Louis training camp, laughed and brushed off Dungy's critical comments.
    "It is what it is," he said. "What are you going to do about it?


    "Thank God he wasn't the St. Louis Rams coach," Sam added. "I have a lot of respect for coach Dungy and like everyone in America, everyone is entitled to their own opinions."

    In the Tribune interview, Dungy, who is an NFL analyst for NBC, said of Sam: "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."
    The remarks caused a stir for Dungy, who advocated for quarterback Michael Vick's return to the league after he was convicted in 2007 on dogfighting charges. Dungy became a mentor to Vick.
    In his statement Tuesday, Dungy implied he should have been asked particular follow-up questions by Kaufman.

    "I was not asked whether or not Michael Sam deserves an opportunity to play in the NFL. He absolutely does.
    "I was not asked whether his sexual orientation should play a part in the evaluation process. It should not.
    "I was not asked whether I would have a problem having Michael Sam on my team. I would not.
    "I have been asked all of those questions several times in the last three months and have always answered them the same way -- by saying that playing in the NFL is, and should be, about merit," the statement read. "The best players make the team, and everyone should get the opportunity to prove whether they're good enough to play. That's my opinion as a coach.

    "But those were not the questions I was asked. What I was asked about was my philosophy of drafting, a philosophy that was developed over the years, which was to minimize distractions for my teams.
    "I do not believe Michael's sexual orientation will be a distraction to his teammates or his organization. I do, however, believe that the media attention that comes with it will be a distraction. Unfortunately we are all seeing this play out now, and I feel badly that my remarks played a role in the distraction.
    "I wish Michael Sam nothing but the best in his quest to become a star in the NFL and I am confident he will get the opportunity to show what he can do on the field. My sincere hope is that we will be able to focus on his play and not on his sexual orientation."
    On Tuesday, Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks defended Dungy.
    Speaking on a conference call with the national media Tuesday to discuss his entry into the Hall, Brooks was asked about the Dungy comments. He prefaced his answer by saying he would reserve judgment because he hadn't spoken with Dungy.
    "I just generally feel that he's probably saying what 31 other teams were probably thinking in that regard," Brooks said. "They didn't draft him, for whatever reason. He was just saying, if he were a head coach, this is how he would have approached the situation, or approached the player's situation."
    Sam was selected in the seventh round by the Rams. He is scheduled to report to the team's training camp Tuesday and is expected to talk to reporters.


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  2. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka
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    Heard this on 670 and they spun it right back to, Dungy's a homophobe b/c all the media attention is b/c he's gay. Not what he's saying though, look at Tebow, got a ton of unearned attention, and it not only started rubbing the players on his team in Den wrong, but their opponents, and the coaches in Den and NJ.

    First time in forever I turned off 670 and went back to the 4 letter network.
     
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  3. Jimmors

    Jimmors The Rhymenoceros
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    I dont think hes a homophobe, he is simply a pussy. One article i read made an excellent point: that GOOD coaches are able to deal with distractions and situations that affect the team. Take Belicheck for example...look at the shit he had to go through with Aaron Hernandez, and does anyone doubt the Pats are going to be "distracted" this year? Of course not, they will probably win their division as usual.

    So yeah Dungy, perhaps Michael Sam may have some unforeseen distractions to the team, or create tension between players. That is entirely possible, making your statement correct. However, saying you wouldnt draft him because of it is taking the coward's way out. A GOOD coach would be able to handle any issue that comes up, and lead his team through it. Hell, thats one reason i respected Lovie, because he had a firm grip on his team, and the players respected him. He was a leader of men. (just not a very good coach when it came to offense, or being able to think outside the box)
     
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  4. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka
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    Ya but even Bellie had to deal w/it last year...and the team suffered greatly for it....although having one of your starters get arrested for murder is a far bigger problem a out players.

    I agree, but I also think that, at least according to Dungy, this was after the Opera thing was announced and I do think that would have been a huge distraction...but that was shit canned real quick, not sure why though. Dungy should have just backed off putting all the weight of his opinion on the Opera thing.
     
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  5. 4th and 26

    4th and 26 George Halas
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    He is a huge distraction because the media is making a big deal out of this guy. How many 7th round draft picks get all this attention because they are gay? Any good coach would just pass on this guy because if anything happens negative to this guy the media will be all over it.
     
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  6. 4th and 26

    4th and 26 George Halas
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    Good coaches can deal with distractions but I think most choose not to deal with distractions. If I were a coach I would to want to deal with this crap.
     
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  7. Jimmors

    Jimmors The Rhymenoceros
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    Depends on the coach. Take Nick Saban...he couldnt deal with grown men, so he tucked his tail and ran back to college.

    A coach is always going to have distractions...off and on the field, it comes with the job description, and if they cant handle it, then they shouldnt be coaches.
     
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  8. 4th and 26

    4th and 26 George Halas
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    Coaches should not be baby sitting grown men either but they have too. In my world if you screw up you are out a job yet in the NFL world guys get multiple changes when they screw up. Look at the bullying problem in Miami last year, that was brutal and the coach had to deal with the mess and try to keep his team together. I have worked in an environment where you have a divided locker room where some guys take one guys side and the other take the other guys side. I see way too many problems with drafting this kid because the media will make this a distraction that the coach can't control.
     
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  9. Jimmors

    Jimmors The Rhymenoceros
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    Unfortunately, this is what happens when your skills are worth millions of dollars, they are not employees, they are investments. The same could be said for any field really, if you are some ubergeek tech that can program shit like nobody's business, and are also worth millions to say Google, you can bet they will look past some shit like a DUI or whatever, because there are going to be plenty of companies ready to scoop you up if you get fired.
     
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  10. Blue Horse-shoe

    Blue Horse-shoe Pro-Bowler

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    Since the media is trying a mountain out of a molehill .... I just change the channel everytime I hear it brought up . Much PC ado about NOTHING .
     
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