Tony Dungy has released a statement on his comments that he wouldn't draft Michael Sam. And wouldn't you know it, we're all really to blame.
The NBC analyst's statement appears, synergistically, on Pro Football Talk (which headlines it "Tony Dungy elaborates on his Michael Sam comments"). The meat of the statement is this:
What I was asked about was my philosophy of drafting, a philosophy that was developed over the years, which was to minimize distractions for my teams.
I do not believe Michael's sexual orientation will be a distraction to his teammates or his organization.
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.
So...Tony Dungy still believes Sam's sexuality is an insurmountable distraction. But at least here he manages to say that it's the media's fault, not Sam's.
Don't think Oprah gets off scot-free either.
On Monday afternoon while on vacation with my family, I was quite surprised to read excerpts from an interview I gave several weeks ago related to this year's NFL Draft, and I feel compelled to clarify those remarks.
I was asked whether I would have drafted Michael Sam and I answered that I would not have drafted him. I gave my honest answer, which is that I felt drafting him would bring much distraction to the team. At the time of my interview, the Oprah Winfrey reality show that was going to chronicle Michael's first season had been announced.
The OWN reality series on Sam was postponed literally two days after it was announced, so that's very convenient timing—and very odd that the Tampa Tribune would sit on Dungy's quotes for two months. Maybe it is the media's fault.
Anyway, Dungy still believes gay people don't deserve equal rights. In a just society he'd be shunned for that, not for talking about how they might affect a football team.