You suggest he had "quiet fortitude". I'll suggest that he simply had no other choice.soxfan121 said:
Well...I think you're closer to the mark than you'd like here. That Dungy got one of those first opportunities after toiling for years as a good company man is a pretty clear sign that Dungy has quiet fortitude. Maybe not sympathetic, but certainly he understood. I would bet he didn't like it but he also strikes me as a person who doesn't spend a lot of time thinking about things he doesn't like.
I feel kinda dirty and icky here, defending Dungy, but I feel compelled to do so because it isn't necessary to destroy everything about the guy. Yep - he was an overrated head coach. Yes - he sucks donkey balls as a commentator. Yes - his recent actions suggest that he isn't enlightened on some aspects of modern life. Yep - he evangelizes like a mofo, which some find highly annoying. And yes - he might have had some serious failings as a parent and at least suffered a tragedy that I would not wish on anyone, for any reason.
Dungy is wrong and he's deservingly taking some heat for it. But I don't think Dungy is a "hateful bigot" as some claim; I think he's a flawed person of a certain generation and a certain cultural influence. Older christians are the least accepting of homosexuals (in general) and Dungy certainly let slip that he would find a gay player "distracting". But I have a hard time thinking the guy hates anyone.
I don't think we can afford to burn down everyone who says anything hateful; I think that while public shaming is both fun and effective, it has to have limits. Dungy spent a lifetime in football and endured lots of years as the token Head Coaching interview candidate to eventually become an overrated Head Coach. That he now doesn't see his own past experience in Michael Sam's current one is sad.
TL;DR - We mock Joe Morgan, broadcaster, for not understanding that Joe Morgan, baseball player, was the quintessential "Moneyball player" because Joe Morgan, broadcaster, is an antiquated dummy yelling at clouds to get off his lawn. We don't run down the on-field achievements of Joe Morgan, Hall of Fame baseball player, for being a terrible broadcaster later in life.
That he would embrace the notion that it's ok to not employ a player who's gay due to potential distractions is indicative of the mindset that has led presumably hundreds of NFL players to stay closeted. They probably felt like they had no other choice as well.