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Former Colts coach: I gave my honest answer when I said I wouldn’t take Michael Sam

Nick Duffy July 23, 2014
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Former NFL coach Tony Dungy has defended his claim this week that he wouldn’t allow openly gay player Michael Sam on his team.

Sam made history as the first openly gay NFL player, when he was drafted by the St Louis Rams in May, a few months after publicly coming out.

Dungy, who was the first African-American person to coach a team to victory in the Superbowl, said earlier this week: “I wouldn’t have taken him… I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it.”

The coach previously mentored Michael Vick following his release from prison, after he was convicted of dog fighting.

Defending his comments yesterday in an email to the Hollywood Reporter, the coach claimed: “I gave my honest answer, which is that I felt drafting him would bring much distraction to the team… I feel badly that my remarks played a role in the distraction.”

“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 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.”

Related topics: coach, Gay, michael sam, nfl, player, Sport features, Tony Dungy, US

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