On Monday, the Tampa Tribune published Tony Dungy’s answer to the question of whether he would have drafted Michael Sam, the NFL’s first openly-gay player. Dungy’s 38 words triggered a flood of debate and controversy, and plenty of pointed criticism. On Tuesday, Dungy issued a statement elaborating on his comments. The full text of it appears here. Dungy explains that the quotes were obtained in the aftermath of the draft, following the news that Oprah Winfrey would turn Sam’s story into a reality show. (The plug has since been pulled on the project.) “I gave my honest answer, which is that I felt drafting him would bring much distraction to the team,” Dungy says. “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.” Dungy notes that he had been asked those questions in the preceding three months, and that he consistently said that playing in the NFL “is, and should be, about merit.” The question posted by the Tampa Tribune focused much more narrowly than that.
Tony Dungy elaborates on his Michael Sam comments
Pro Football Talk | Jul 22