Nearly a year later, Tony Dungy’s distraction comments still get under Jason Collins’ skin.
The former Nets center said that the Super Bowl-winning coach was speaking in code when he said after last year’s draft that Michael Sam would become a distraction in the NFL. After Sam was drafted by the Rams in the final round, Dungy said he wouldn’t have picked him because “I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it.” What the former Colts coach was really saying, at least in Collins’ view, was that he’s homophobic.
“If you were to ask Tony Dungy if he feels like homophobia is in his level of thinking or if he’s homophobic, he’d say no,” Collins told USA Today while discussing a study about homophobia in sports. “Well, if you were to ask Donald Sterling if he sees how his comments are racist, he said no, too. Some people don’t recognize their own racism, homophobia. His awareness, and people like him, are the problem.”
Sam came out as gay prior to the 2014 NFL draft while Collins came out in May 2013 and became the first openly gay man to play in the NBA after signing with Brooklyn.
According to the survey by Out on the Fields, 84 percent of gay men and 82 percent of gay women heard homophopic language in the locker room. Nearly 9,500 people — 26 percent of them straight — were questioned in the six-country poll.
The study, which focuses only on sexuality, found that just one percent of people feel that lesbian, gay and bisexual people are being completely accepted in sports.
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