THE BLOG

A Nicer Way of Saying No

07/22/2014 05:02 pm ET | Updated Sep 20, 2014

Tony Dungy was a successful NFL head coach who many people think was passed over for some jobs because of his race. Now Michael Sam, the first openly gay person to be drafted by an NFL team, is hearing Dungy say he wouldn't draft Sam because there would be problems. Yeah.

For years Black athletes couldn't gain access to the major sports because their presence would be disruptive, harmful to team unity, blah blah blah. Now we have a Black man who not only has spoken out against a gay athlete playing on a team he would supervise, he has in the past spoken out against gay marriage -- spoken out to the extent that he favors a constitutional amendment against marriage equality.

Imagine a coach in 2014 saying he wouldn't have an Hispanic athlete because they struggle with English, or a Black player because they are too ill-tempered. They would be fired before they had a chance to respond to the quote.

Yet it's okay for Dungy to spew his homophobic invective because he is mild-mannered and hides his bigotry behind his religious beliefs, much the way some white Southerners did/do.

If only one major interviewer would take Dungy to task instead of treating him with the respect he doesn't deserve, we might see the harm he is spreading. Keep in mind this is the man who defended Michael Vick's re-entry into football, and he drowned dogs and did time. Michael Sam never hurt a dog, never did time, and never disrupted any team he has played on.

I agree with Dungy -- I don't think he should coach Michael Sam either. Michael deserves an equal chance.