NFL Analyst Tony Dungy's 'Gay Player' Comments Put Him in Hot Water

Tony Dungy
NFL television analyst and former coach Tony Dungy aroused criticism over a remark about defensive end Michael Sam.

NFL television analyst and former coach Tony Dungy backed off on Tuesday from comments he "wouldn't want to deal with" the diversions arising from drafting the league's first openly gay player, saying he was referring to media attention surrounding such a move.

Dungy, who was head coach of the Indianapolis Colts when they won the Super Bowl in 2007 and previously coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, had aroused criticism over the remark about defensive end Michael Sam, which was published in the Tampa Bay Tribune on Sunday.

"I wouldn't have taken him," Dungy told the paper. "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," he added.

In a statement on the NBC sports website on Tuesday seeking to clarify his remarks, Dungy said the increased media attention, not Sam's sexual orientation, would be a distraction for his teammates and team management.

"I was not asked whether I would have a problem having Michael Sam on my team. I would not," the statement said.

"I do, however, believe that the media attention that comes with it will be a distraction. Unfortunately we are all seeing this play out now, and I feel badly that my remarks played a role in the distraction," he wrote.

Sam, who was drafted in May by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round, could become the league's first openly gay player if he makes the team's 53-man regular-season roster this summer. He was the Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year and announced in February he is gay.


Reporting by Curtis Skinner in New York; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Peter Cooney

© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.


To contact us or to submit an article, click here.


Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

It's a NEW YEAR! Get ready for a NEW YOU!

  • New Year Discounts On Book Bundles & Gifts: Click Here to view all our bundles and save up to 72%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • Go Deeper with God in a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all eight of our free courses. Topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Anointed Woman Of God: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Never Stop Praying - Prayer Changes Everything! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • New Year - New You - Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for two years for Only $29.97 and get two free gifts. Gift #1 The Harbinger. Gift #2 The Harbinger II. Both books are by New York Times Best-Selling author Jonathan Cahn. View Offer

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective