Skip to main content

Sam responds to Dungy: 'Thank God' he wasn't the Rams' coach

  • Author:
  • Updated:

St. Louis Rams defensive end Michael Sam, the first player in NFL history to publicly announce that he is gay, is thankful that Tony Dungy wasn't running the show in the Rams' war room during the NFL Draft.

On Monday, Dungy was quoted as saying he wouldn't have drafted Sam because he would be too much of a "distraction." The remark gained national attention and spread like a wildfire.

"Thank God he wasn't St. Louis Rams' coach," Sam told NFL Network on Tuesday. "But I have a great respect for Dungy, and everyone in America is entitled to their own opinions."

Dungy attempted to clarify his remarks by saying Sam "absolutely" deserves a chance to play in the NFL. Here's a portion of the statement Dungy released Tuesday, courtesy of USA Today.

I was asked whether I would have drafted Michael Sam and I answered that would not have drafted him,” he wrote. “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.

I was not asked whether or not Michael Sam deserves an opportunity to play in the NFL. He absolutely does.

I was not asked whether his sexual orientation should play a part in the evaluation process. It should not.

I was not asked whether I would have a problem having Michael Sam on my team. I would not.

Dungy's full statement can be read at the Indy Star.

Keith Olbermann believes Dungy only made the situation worse with his statement, referring to the former Gophers quarterback, Vikings defensive coordinator and Super Bowl winning coach of the Indianapolis Colts as the sports world's worst person.

“Tony Dungy just admitted that Tony Dungy wouldn’t be a skilled enough coach to deal with the distraction of doing the right thing,” Olbermann said during his show on ESPN.

Olbermann did make note that Dungy once received an award from a group that was trying for a ban on same-sex marriage in Indiana. Dungy surprised the group by publicly supporting their efforts.

Next Up

covid test 6

You can order 4 free at-home COVID tests starting January 19

Tests will ship for free within 7-12 days, according to the White House.

Screen Shot 2022-01-17 at 9.39.38 PM

Jordan Greenway runs into Darcy Kuemper, sparks fight

Kuemper got knocked out of the game, leading to the brawl.

Kirill Kaprizov

MacKinnon's controversial goal helps Avalanche top Wild

Kirill Kaprizov's two goals were spoiled by a questionable call.

powell itasca jail jan 2022 resize

Attorney accused of sex assault misses hearing, DMs judge

He was arrested the next day after a warrant was issued,

lorie shaull vulcan snow park st paul winter carnival 2018

Winter Carnival: Get vaccinated or test negative before coming

Organizers are also reminding people to be mindful of the city's emergency regulations.

hospital, emergency room

Driver, 15 years old, hurt when car collides with SUV

The road was wet at the time, the State Patrol said.

Tyler Wahl

Minnesotans have the Badgers back in the national spotlight

Three of Wisconsin's four leading scorers are from Minnesota.