Tony Dungy is the Clarence Thomas of football

When he goes to bed tonight, Tony Dungy should offer a prayer of thanks that the US isn’t at the mercy of people like him.

Tony Dungy wouldn’t have drafted Michael Sam. But not because he’s gay! No, no. Because things will happen. You know … things.

Three thoughts.

1: Look! Look! See, Michael Sam is on TV being interviewed about non-football issues. He’s being a DISTRACTION! And why? Because … well, because Tony Dungy is in the media talking about how Sam is a distraction.

Don’t start no distraction, won’t be no distraction. Just saying.

2: Good thing the folks who opened the door for people like Tony Dungy weren’t like Tony Dungy. Let’s look at Tony’s criterion. He wouldn’t have picked Sam because something might happen. You know, locker rooms being locker rooms and thick headed jocks being thick headed jocks, you introduce a gay into the mix and, well, you just don’t know. You can’t take that chance. You shouldn’t bring someone into the team if there’s a chance their presence might be disruptive.

You know who else was disruptive? Jackie Robinson. And by Dungy’s reasoning he should have been kept out of MLB. That standard – don’t take a guy if something might happen – well, how could something not happen if you allowed a minority to play? Locker rooms were full of racists, and you know something might happen.

Know what else might have been a distraction? Letting a black man coach an NFL team.

This is what gripes me. Not just the rampant hypocrisy – I mean, Dungy had no problems with the potential distractions that Mike Vick, a dog-torturing felon might create. He had no issues with the distractions that Tim Tebow, the biggest media circus in league history, represented. But he has issues with a distraction that nobody was talking about until he brought the issue back to the attention of the media. No, beyond that, it’s the cluelessness, the lack of social self-awareness, I guess. Dungy’s stance here is like Justice Clarence Thomas being opposed to the social engineering programs that made his success in life possible.

3: Do. The right. Thing. The Dungy standard is all the more regressive because of its underlying principle: appease the bullies. If letting a gay man into the locker room might cause the Neanderthals to act out, you shouldn’t do it. Hmmm. If it’s going to upset Lester Maddox and George Wallace, you shouldn’t pass the Civil Rights Act. If it’s going to antagonize the patriarchists, you shouldn’t let women vote.

No, Tony, you don’t allow your worst elements to hold society hostage, and an upright “Man of Faith®” ought to understand this. What would Jesus do? Well, first he’d check to make sure that he wasn’t going to ruffle the feathers of the Pharisees or the money changers or the Romans or the mob getting ready to stone the adulteress.

If “something happens,” Tony, you damned well punish the guilty, you don’t run off the innocent.

Tony Dungy is a black man with a Super Bowl ring and a great job as a TV analyst. He needs to be damned glad society doesn’t always give in to men like him.

One comment

  • We all know what’s going on here. Dungy is anti-gay because of his religion. Period. ESPN is desperately trying to save his bacon (not sure why, historically announcers who’ve said stupid things have been thrown to the wolves, e.g., Campanella) by labeling his about face a “clarification.” But we don’t really need clarification. What he said was clear enough.

    When I was in consulting,, I had a partner from S. Africa who was prone to giving heart rending speeches about how he’d left RSA with just the clothes on his back because of the wrongness of apartheid. He was well known in the partner group for hiring more minorities than anyone else. However, he was equally well known for never staffing them. So his hires either ended up working for someone else or sat writhing in their cubes until they were fired a year later for not having been on any jobs. I always thought it was a far more insidious racism than not hiring them in the first place. DK would never have considered himself a racist, in fact he felt himself the epitome of a liberal and fair minded fellow because his intentions were good. I disagreed then and I disagree now. Good intent don’t mean shit without a willingness to act.

    I personally am no Sam fan. I suspect he lacks the physical skills to make it in the NFL, and when he fails the anti-gay faction will interpret that to mean that gays can’t play football and the pro-gay faction will interpret it to mean that he got shafted by the system. I wish Jadaveon Clowney (or really, Andrew Luck) was the standard bearer for sexual orientation equality.

    I also wish Sam would tone it down a bit. Jason Collins didn’t feel a need to kiss his partner on national TV or do an Oprah special (although again, it’s hard to blame the kid for the latter since he’s going to need an income stream once he gets cut.) Collins said he was gay, answered questions and then went back to doing what he’s always done, throwing elbows at people cutting to the basket.

    I’ve never really liked Dungy either. He’s sanctimonious, and his billboards around Indy giving fathering tips irk me given his track record as a dad. He’s also racist, albeit in a positive way. However, everyone in the NFL seems to think he’s a good guy, so perhaps he is.

    The NFL has never been afraid of hiring “distractions” if they can play. Namath, Carruth, Vick, White, Manzeil, the list goes on and on and on. But a gay distraction, now that’s different.

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