Michael Sam responded to the controversy ignited by former Buccaneers and Colts head coach Tony Dungy after practice on Tuesday. It was a simple, straightforward response, the kind designed not to provoke a further firestorm around Dungy's "distraction" remark. In other words, smart move by Sam.
Sam on Dungy's comments: "Thank God he wasn't the St. Louis Rams coach. (laughs) I have a lot of respect for Coach Dungy." (1 of 2)— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) July 22, 2014
"And like everyone in America, everyone is entitled to their own opinions." (2 of 2)— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) July 22, 2014
Dungy, as you may have heard, told the Tampa Bay media that he would not have drafted Sam because he would be a "distraction." That opinion isn't out of line with what others in the NFL have said; Dungy was just less than artful in his remark, and hypocritical considering he's been an outspoken opponent of gay rights and more than willing to take a chance on other players who present a distraction for head coaches. (Remember, he signed Keyshawn Johnson, who was in his day a major distraction).
Anyway, that's basically the response you could have expected from Sam. And it's good to see him take the high road. The Rams see him first and foremost as a football player, and a barrier breaker second. He's got to keep his focus on making the roster, which isn't going to be an easy task considering the depth at the position in St. Louis.