And it went down just like everyone thought it would.
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And his undefeated reign continues...
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In the 7th round, with the 249th overall pick in this year’s NFL draft, the St. Louis Rams selected Michael Sam, making him the first openly gay player ever drafted by a professional football team.
But if Tony Dungy had any say, it never would have happened.
"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.”
Dungy is just the latest in a long line of analysts who worry that despite Sam’s skills and talents on the field, the media attention that he is currently receiving will be a distraction to his fellow players and to the Rams organization.
And maybe the media attention IS distracting.
But what we find interesting is that Mr. Dungy feels the frenzy surrounding Michael Sam is more plaguing to a team than say, the media frenzy the surrounded Michael Vick.
Or Tim Tebow.
Dungy had no problem supporting those quarterbacks at the height of their infamy. Dungy even mentored Vick personally in 2009 following his release from prison after serving his sentence for dogfighting.
He also told Tim Tebow to be patient because sooner or later, he would wind up in the right place in the NFL.
So if those two, who are both the epitome of team distraction, are worthy of making an NFL team, why not Michael Sam?
Maybe it’s because Tony Dungy is against gay rights.
Actually, scratch that. Not maybe. Definitely.
In 2007, Dungy backed an amendment to the Indiana constitution that defined marriage as being between one man and one woman. He also joined forces with the Indiana Family Institute, a faith-based organization that fights to ban gay marriage as well as promote pro-life legislature.
Michael Sam and the St. Louis Rams start training camp on Friday. Will there be cameras there? Of course. Will reporters probably ask Sam’s teammates what it’s been like playing with the league's first openly gay player? Most likely.
But thankfully, Rams coach Jeff Fisher isn’t concerned about distractions like those, unlike Tony Dungy. All Coach Fisher is concerned about is winning.
[Images via WENN.]