Michael Sam responded in what was probably the most gracious way possible to comments former NFL coach Tony Dungy made about not wanting “to deal with” the openly gay player if he were still coaching.
“Thank God he wasn’t St. Louis Rams’ coach,” Sam said jokingly to reporters on Tuesday. “But I have a great respect for Coach Dungy, and like everyone in America, everyone is entitled to their own opinions.”
That was about all Sam wanted to say about Dungy, who told Tampa Tribune on Sunday:
“I wouldn’t have taken him. 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.”
Dungy later clarified his comments as not a knock against Sam — he said he indeed deserves an opportunity to play — but instead he reasoned the media attention surrounding him would be a “distraction” that as a coach, he would want to minimize.
“I don’t really care what people are coming up and talking about,” Sam said. “My job is to make this team, that’s my number one priority.”
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