There is a little doubt that a segment of the sports press and the public would prefer that athletes with conservative and Christian beliefs keep their views to themselves (but secular and leftist views are fine). This became evident after the Super Bowl, when one sportswriter and the Twitter mob strongly criticized NBC's Tony Dungy, a Super Bowl-winning coach himself, for citing Philadelphia Eagle quarterback Nick Foles' self-professed Christian faith as contributing to his success.
Who’da thunk it? A winning Super Bowl coach and Israel combine to teach Americans a lesson in how the media’s religion bigots operate.
The coach, of course, is Tony Dungy, the now retired coach of the Indianapolis Colts, the team he led to the 2007 Super Bowl win over the Chicago Bears. And Israel? Israel is, thank God, still Israel. (Oops! Can I still say “God”?)
On the July 23 edition of The Ed Show, host Ed Schultz and guest Michael Eric Dyson took turns attacking former NFL coach Tony Dungy for stating that he “wouldn’t want to deal” with the media attention that followed the drafting of Michael Sam, the NFL’s first openly-gay draftee.
While the other guest, national sport columnist Terence Moore, attempted to defend Dungy, Dyson compared his “attempt to justify prejudice and bigotry under the rubric of having questions about distractions” to the “light, racist viewpoints that were promoted by many white people who were not in the Ku Klux Klan” but still “resisted the progress of African-American people by undermining it.” Forget “light racism,” later in the interview Dyson compared the coach to an infamous Southern segregationist who employed police dogs and fire hoses on peaceful protesters. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
It’s open season. Since the media attacked former NFL coach and NBC sports analyst Tony Dungy for saying he wouldn’t have picked openly gay player Michael Sam during the draft, the sports media now has its pitchforks and torches out for anyone in the NFL guilty of thought crimes. ESPN and CBS are going after David Tyree, a former New York Giants wide receiver (who’s miraculous “helmet catch” gave the team victory in Super Bowl XLII), who was just hired as Giants Director of Player Development.
Tyree’s sin: he’s an open Christian and supporter of traditional marriage.
These days, if a former NFL coach makes a vague statement about an openly gay sports player who was fawned over by the media, he can expect to be called a “homophobe” and “bigot” for not getting aboard the pro-gay train.
Dungy, former coach of the Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and current NBC sports analyst, told The Tampa Tribune, “I wouldn’t have taken him [Michael Sam]. 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.”
Dungy elaborated, "It’s not going to be totally smooth...things will happen.” For this cautious statement, Dungy was attacked by the media as homophobic and discriminatory.