It’s been a little while since we’ve heard anything about Michael Sam, who will be trying to make the St. Louis Rams’ roster when the team begins its rookie training camp on Tuesday. Reasonable minds could differ on whether his now-shelved reality show would have been a distraction for the team, but the downside from his mere presence isn’t something that should be a concern in an enlightened locker room.
Former Bucs and Colts coach, and current NBC analyst, Tony Dungy, however, says he would have stayed away from Sam in the Draft. “I wouldn’t have taken him,’’ said Dungy, via Ira Kaufman in the Tampa Bay Tribune. “Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it. …It’s not going to be totally smooth … things will happen.’’
As Doug Farrar points out, Dungy would never have been given a chance as a player and coach if this were the prevailing opinion amongst administrators when sports were integrating.
Though Dungy has spoken out against gay marriage in the past, this was somewhat of an about-face on Michael Sam. “The NFL has always been based on merit and I think that will continue to be the case whether it’s Michael Sam and the issue of homosexuality or anything else,” Dungy said back in February. “Guys who produce and play well will be welcome in the league.”
Related: Tony Dungy Blamed Peyton Manning’s Current Neck Problems on a Hit Against Washington in 2006, When Gregg Williams Was Coach
Related: Michael Sam Wisely Cancels His Documentary Series with Oprah
Related: Michael Sam Fell 70 Spots on CBS’ Draft Prospect Board Overnight