Tony Dungy clarifies comments on Michael Sam

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Tampa, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Clarifying his controversial statement, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy said openly gay linebacker Michael Sam “absolutely” deserves a chance to play in the NFL.

Sam was selected in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams. He is scheduled to report to the team’s training camp Tuesday as he tries to make the final roster.

Explaining his earlier stand, Dungy said he was just concerned with the distraction that media coverage of Sam’s attempt to make the roster would create if he were his coach.

“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,” said Dungy.

“Unfortunately we are all seeing this play out now, and I feel badly that my remarks played a role in the distraction,” he added.

Dungy then wished Sam “nothing but the best in his quest to become a star in the NFL and I am confident he will get the opportunity to show what he can do on the field.”

“My sincere hope is that we will be able to focus on his play and not on his sexual orientation,” stressed Dungy, who now works as NFL analyst for NBC.

Earlier, Dungy created a stir after he told the Tampa Tribune: “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.”

The remarks came as a surprise to some as Dungy advocated for quarterback Michael Vick’s return to the league after he was convicted in 2… MORE

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