Former NFL coach Tony Dungy is receiving criticism for saying that he wouldn't have drafted Michael Sam, the league's first openly gay player.
"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 told the Tampa Tribune in a story published Sunday.
Dungy added that “it’s not going to be totally smooth … things will happen.’’
Sam announced he was gay in February, three months before he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round. The former defensive player from Missouri already has the sixth-bestselling jersey in the league, according to the NFL.
Dungy's comments have not been received well by many.
Tweeted @EricStangel: "So far Tony Dungy has been more of a distraction than Michael Sam."
Tweeted @KDonhoops: "In a few decades, we won't have to deal with people like Tony Dungy anymore."
Sam, who won the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs July 16, said in a speech that night that he has dealt at times with what has felt like a massive storm since announcing he was gay.
"To anyone out there — especially young people — feeling like they don't fit in and will never be accepted, please know this: Great things can happen when you have the courage to be yourself," Sam said.