Michael Sam responded to Tony Dungy‘s comments to the Tampa Tribune that he wouldn’t have drafted the openly gay Rams rookie because he would be a distraction and things wouldn’t go “totally smooth.”
“Thank God he wasn’t the St. Louis Rams coach,” Sam told ESPN’s Nick Wagoner on Tuesday. “I have a lot of respect for Coach Dungy. And like everyone in American, everyone is entitled to their own opinions.”
Dungy’s comments sparked controversy and discussions amongst many. The former Colts coach later clarified his take on Sam in a statement.
Whether or not Sam is a distraction is ultimately up to Jeff Fisher. And the Rams coach told ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning Wednesday that Sam has “absolutely not” been a distraction.
“Let’s define distraction,” Fisher said. “There were a couple of extra cameras during early OTAs. There may have been an extra camera yesterday as rookies reported and went on the field the first time. Mike’s a very passionate athlete. He’s very focused on trying to make this football team. … He worked really hard during the summer, and he’s doing a good job.”
Fisher said there will be no limits placed on Sam’s media availability during training camp. He said he has no problem with Dungy’s comments.
“I’m going to assume some that maybe things were taken out of context,” Fisher said. “But everybody’s entitled to their own opinion. Coaches are going to have differences of opinion during the draft. … I’m not concerned. Tony’s entitled to his opinion as everybody is and so are and right now we think we have a pretty good thing going.”