Tony Dungy Needs to Just Shut Up

Tony Dungy wouldn't have drafted Michael Sam because of the 'distraction' he would bring.

Below is the definition of the word hypocrisy.

the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense. Therefore a hypocrite is one who practices hypocrisy. Ladies and gentlemen and I give you Tony Dungy.

This isn’t easy for me to write because I have great respect for Coach Dungy. Well, maybe had is the more operative word now after his comments regarding St. Louis Rams’ rookie Michael Sam being a ‘distraction.’ In case you didn’t know, Michael Sam happens to be gay. He’ll be the first openly gay player in the NFL should he make the Rams’ roster or any other team’s roster.

Tony Dungy needs to just move away from the microphone for the time being.

Before I get to Dungy let me tell you how I feel about Sam. I do not care that Michael Sam is gay. I do not care that he is black. I do not care he attended Missouri. I don’t care if he likes The Beatles more than The Rolling Stones. The only thing I care about with regard to Michael Sam is this; can he make his football team better?

Dungy is of course entitled to his opinion as I am to mine and you are to yours, but his comments this week and then his attempt to re-define them reek of hypocrisy and religious intolerance. As MMQB’s Peter King said, “Dungy is a deeply religious man who follows the bible to the letter of the law. I don’t think he’d ever be in favor of gay marriage.”

We’ve known for some time that Dungy is exactly as King says he is. He is very religious and if you’ve read even a chapter of any of his books you’d know that. There’s nothing wrong with that with one exception and that’s the very exception that applies to Dungy’s comments.

As head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dungy drafted a player out of Miami of Florida named Warren Sapp. Like him or hate him, Sapp had a Hall of Fame career. When he was drafted however, he dropped significantly in the first round because of well-known marijuana use. Apparently this ‘distraction’ wasn’t too big for Dungy to deal with as coach.

As Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts, his All-Pro wide receiver Marvin Harrison was allegedly involved in two shootings in Philadelphia. In fact he was involved in a third just last month. During the initial incidents, Dungy supported Harrison and that’s fine. Most coaches would do the same. When asked if the incident would affect his football Dungy said, “No, Marvin will be fine. I can’t speak for Marvin, but my sense is he’ll be fine.” This was after he was sued by the man he allegedly shot. Still, not a ‘distraction’ for Dungy’s team.

As an analyst for NBC, Dungy took it upon himself to help Michael Vick while he was in prison after his dog fighting ring was exposed. That’s very good of Dungy but why was he so willing to support to Vick? Obviously because he didn’t want him to be a ‘distraction.’

Dungy tried to clear up his comments that Sam would be a ‘distraction’ by saying he believes it isn’t his sexual orientation that’s a problem but rather the media ‘distraction’ his sexuality will create. To this point, Sam has not been a ‘distraction’ at all according to Jeff Fisher who spoke with ‘Mike and Mike’ this morning.

Maybe the real ‘distraction’ is Dungy himself. Long an advocate for African-American players and coaches in the NFL, it appears his own beliefs are getting in the way of him advocating for another player. My advice Tony is to just stop talking because every time you open your mouth you have to make room for your foot.