By Rich Winter
The media circus surrounding Tony Dungy over the last few days has been really intriguing to me.
Dungy came out a few days ago and said that if he were coaching the St. Louis Rams or been a decision maker with that team or any other team that he would not have wanted openly gay player Michael Sam on his roster. Dungy clarified saying that decision had nothing to do with what he thought were Michael Sam's football abilities, but rather the ensuing media frenzy that would likely follow.
Well, Tony Dungy certainly knows about a media circus now as the media has been all over him for making such remarks. People have suggested that Dungy, an African American of stature that is a Super Bowl winning coach, should not have stooped to the level that he did.
Freaking media, always making more out of things than they really are.
I just don't think the general population or the 'expert' media really understand the fire-storm that is going to follow this Michael Sam fella everywhere he goes.
If you've ever seen protestors of the gay community, get ready for some hate-filled interchanges this fall.
Get ready for the God Hates Fags sign at every stadium the Rams attend this fall. Get ready for those same signs at Rams home games.
The Rams players are going to have to deal with rude, loud and hate-filled people that will be throwing things at them and cursing Michael Sam. It's going to be an uncomfortable experience and a real wake up call for all of America.
So, why would a coach want to go through all of that?
Which brings me to the point. From all accounts, and by his being drafted in the 7th round, is Michael Sam really worth all of the hate that is about to spew forth.
I've always thought Dungy to be a mild mannered fella that doesn't step out of bounds. His comments were surprising but I don't think they were out of line.
I think Dungy sees the bigger picture farther ahead that the casual fan or even the media. Distractions are bad for football teams, Dungy knows this.
Players are going to get so sick of Sam being interviewed about his sexuality rather than him not playing a single snap. Good for the Rams being willing to undertake this opportunity, but I wonder how they will feel after going through the season with hecklers galore taking shots at a marginal football player.
Dear Lord, what if Michael Sam gets cut?
If Michael Sam gets cut, I hope the Rams make it short, sweet and to the point. Even at that, if he does get cut, I'm guessing we will see a large outpouring of questioning from the gay and lesbian communities and from Human Rights Activists. While I'm guessing these groups won't be spitting fire and brimstone, I am guessing they will be persitent and vocal in response to a barrier breaker not even getting a chance to play with the assumption being not because he's not a good football player but because he's gay.
Sounds like an anti love-fest whichever way you turn.
From where I'm sitting it's a no win situation. Whatever way the Rams go, keep him or cut him, someone is going to be loud and unhappy about it.
And all Dungy really said was he would not have wanted to deal with that burden, that distraction and that circus (as he put it).
Wasn't he absolutely, 100 percent right?
Note: I wasn't super happy with a tweet I saw on Tony Dungy's twitter feed this morning.
Just got back from family vacation on the Ore coast. Appreciate everyone who has communicated support, Esp the Christian community. Thanks!
Comes off a little holier than though for me with the reference to the Christian Community, but hey, that's his prerogative.
I just think people need to back off and let this play out. Tony Dungy is one of the nicest, mildest men on the sports sideline and this sullying and questioning of his reputation for speaking the truth just doesn't sit well with me.
You can follow me @panicgalore or visit my other website at www.panicbutton.sportsblog.com