One day after creating a stir with his comments in Monday's Tampa Tribune on Michael Sam, the NFL’s first openly gay player, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy issued a follow- up statement July 22.
Dungy’s full statement, published today at profootballtalk.com, appears below.
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On Monday afternoon while on vacation with my family, I was quite surprised to read excerpts from an interview I gave several weeks ago related to this year’s NFL Draft, and I feel compelled to clarify those remarks.
I was asked whether I would have drafted Michael Sam and I answered that I would not have drafted him. I gave my honest answer, which is that I felt drafting him would bring much distraction to the team. At the time of my interview, the Oprah Winfrey reality show that was going to chronicle Michael’s first season had been announced.
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.