Michael Sam: Coach who wouldn’t hire me is entitled to his opinion
Michael Sam has responded to former Colts coach Tony Dungy’s claims that he “wouldn’t have taken” an openly gay player.
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 player Michael Vick following his release from prison, after he was convicted of dog fighting.
Sam took a diplomatic line when reporters asked him, saying: “Thank God he wasn’t St. Louis Rams’ coach!”
He added: “But I have a great respect for Coach Dungy, and like everyone in America, everyone is entitled to their own opinions.”
“It is what it is… what you gonna do about it? My focus is on making this team. I’m excited to be back with the guys. Football is fun.”
Defending his remarks yesterday, Dungy said: “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.”
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