Charles Davis: ‘Why Is Dungy Worried About Sam’s Lifestyle?’

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Michael Sam (Credit: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Michael Sam (Credit: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Now that Ray Rice has been suspended – inadequately, many would argue – for the first two games of the 2014 season after being charged with assault by his then-fiance, we have to ask the question:

What does Tony Dungy think of Rice’s lifestyle? Would he approve of it? Would he want Rice on his team?

“That’s a question I would have,” FOX Sports and NFL Network analyst Charles Davis said on The John Feinstein Show. “Why is he worried about approving or not approving Michael Sam’s lifestyle? I thought this was a football question.”

Apparently, it’s not. There are some things Dungy will put up with; there are others, such as homosexuality, that he will not.

“When they asked him the question, he answered it like a true coach: no distractions (and no) extra media (attention),” Davis said. “Someone came at me and said, ‘Hold on a second. If he’s going to be allowed to get away with that, what about when the Buccaneers hired him? Let’s say him being a black coach was a distraction.’ And my counter to that was, ‘I get where you’re coming from, but I thought the idea was to hire the best person for their job and it was supposed to be a colorblind deal.’ So we end up going back and forth on this whole thing.”

“The bottom line for me on this one . . . (is that Dungy) doesn’t approve of (Sam’s lifestyle),” Davis continued. “He let it out there. That’s what it came down to. And now, anything else that he has to say about Michael Sam, to me, is out the window. What he’s saying is, I don’t want him around because of his lifestyle. Period. Game, set and match right there. I don’t want him around because of his lifestyle.”

That’s what makes the news on Rice – who is merely the latest NFL player to run amok with the law – so troubling.

“If I’m watching a video of a man and his fiance, and he knocks her out, I’m cool with that, though?” Davis asked. “Let’s face it. Dungy coached some really great teams, (but) as they say in that league – and any league – it ain’t all choir boys. I guess he’s drawing his line in the sand and (saying), ‘This is where I don’t have an approval. Period.’”

Davis, like Feinstein, wasn’t impressed with Dungy’s “non-apology apology” in which Dungy stated that he and Sam’s teammates would get along with him, but the media attention would just be too much of a distraction to warrant a draft pick.

“We can’t have it both ways,” Davis said. “Any team anyone coaches has at least one player that at some point we could term as a distraction. If you draft Johnny Manziel, you draft a distraction. If you go out now and sign Tim Tebow, you’ve now signed a distraction.”

Diva wideouts, guys who get fined, guys who are always in trouble with the law. There’s no getting away from it.

“There’s some distraction somewhere,” Davis said. “Most people in the league are smart enough not to let people know these things right now. Whatever (feeling) you’re harboring, if you don’t have to comment on it, if you don’t have to address it, (don’t).”

Moving to college football, Nick Saban recently suggested that Alabama lost last year’s Sugar Bowl to Oklahoma because it was merely a “consolation game” – remarks that annoyed Bob Stoops, who is 160-39 in 15 seasons in Norman.

“Yeah, I think for any coach who plays in a big-time bowl game, that gets old to hear stuff like that,” Davis said. “When it’s Alabama, if it’s a national championship game and they win it, they were prepared, right? If they lose to Utah in the Sugar Bowl, if they lose to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, (what), those games don’t count? Don’t take the credit from the other team.”

Oklahoma entered the game as a heavy underdog but won, 45-31.

“To me, I would be annoyed if I was Bob Stoops – because Bob Stoops’ team was supposed to get killed that night,” Davis said. “I was on that (bandwagon). (But Stoops is probably thinking), ‘Hold on a second. You knew you were coming to play us, we knew we were going to play you, we were decided underdogs, we came and got ourselves ready and we kicked you that night. Shake hands, say congratulations and keep moving.’”


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