Former Colts coach: I wouldn’t have taken gay player Michael Sam

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Former Colts coach Tony Dungy has claimed that he “wouldn’t have taken” Michael Sam if he were still in charge of a team.

Sam made history as the first openly gay NFL player, when he was drafted by the St Louis Rams in May, a few months after publicly coming out.

However, a planned Oprah Winfrey documentary about Sam’s life was previously shelved to allow him to concentrate on his playing career.

Dungy, who was the first African-American person to coach a team to victory in the Superbowl, told the Tampa Bay Times: “I wouldn’t have taken him. Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it.

“It’s not going to be totally smooth … things will happen.”

Dungy was a coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1996 to 2001 and is now an NBC pundit.

Last week, Sam was met with two standing ovations as he accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs.

He said: “This year I had a lot of experience being part of something bigger than myself. At times, I felt like I’d been living in a massive storm, without knowing when the storm will end.

“But I’m here tonight to tell you that the lessons I learned about love, respect and being true to yourself will never leave me.”