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The Philadelphia Daily News

Is Tony Dungy a hypocrite? You make the call.

The former NFL coach turned mentor told the Tampa Tribune that he would not have taken defensive end Michael Sam in the 2014 draft because he wouldn't want to deal with all the drama the first openly gay NFL player is likely to bring to a team.

Sam was drafted in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams. A lot of so-called experts think he fell so far because he announced he was gay only 3 months before the draft.

"I wouldn't have taken him," Dungy said. "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. It's not going to be totally smooth . . . things will happen."

Like the kind of things that happened when Dungy lobbied the Eagles to give Michael Vick a chance in 2009 after the quarterback had served 19 months in a federal prison for his role in a dogfighting ring? Did Dungy forget about the drama and distractions the Eagles faced?

Then there was Tim Tebow, who is the cleanest-living distraction you'll ever meet. Last year, when the ultra-religious, virgin quarterback went unsigned, Dungy offered words of encouragement.

"The advice that I have for Tim is to be patient and be faithful," Dungy said in a video on his website. "The Lord has a good spot for you, and he's going to give you the right situation."

So Dungy supports Vick and Tebow, but has no love for Sam. Why? Could something else be at play?

In 2007, Dungy - then the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts - publicly supported an amendment to the Indiana constitution that would define marriage as solely between a man and a woman.

And last year, when Nets center Jason Collins announced he was gay, Dungy tweeted:

"I don't agree with Jason Collins' lifestyle but think he deserves respect and should have opportunities like anyone else!"

Mentor or hypocrite? You make the call.

July 22, 2014 

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