If you need an example of this dynamic, just take a look at what’s happening to former NFL head coach Tony Dungy. In a recent interview, he was asked about Michael Sam, the first ‘openly gay’ player drafted into the NFL. Dungy had this to say: “I wouldn’t have [drafted] 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.”
An exceedingly reasonable opinion, and one shared by most NFL officials, which is why Sam wasn’t taken until the 7th round. Notice, Dungy never said that he hates Sam because of his sexuality, nor did he say that Sam shouldn’t be in the NFL. In fact, he said the opposite. Dungy’s position is very clear. Sam is a mediocre talent and a marginal prospect. He’s too slow to be a linebacker and too small to be a defensive end. He doesn’t have the athleticism to be a starter, and he may very well lack the talent to make the squad. At best, Michael Sam will see the field for kickoffs and punts, and that will be it.
Is an unspectacular player worth the media circus that will follow? Would any coach in their right mind relish the thought of being accused of bigotry if Sam has to be cut to make room for better players? Does any football organization want to be tossed into the middle of a ‘gay rights’ fight when their only concern is winning football games? One poor team answered ‘yes’ to these questions, but 31 did not. Tony Dungy echoed the sentiments of the 31 teams — the sane ones.
Michael Sam isn’t very good but he is a self-congratulatory pseudo-’equal rights’ champion who loves the attention and does not hesitate to throw homophobia accusations around. This is the guy who cut a deal to star in a documentary during training camp, and hid the agreement from the NFL until after he was drafted. This dude is on a crusade, and it’s got nothing to do with making the playoffs and bringing home the Lombardi Trophy. He’s not worth the trouble, not by a longshot. Any rational person can see that, and Tony Dungy is a rational person.
Progressives, however, are not. That’s why Dungy’s remarks have been met with a furor as repulsive as it is predictable. Tony Dungy never criticized Sam’s sexual preference, but he did take a position that diverges from the liberal narrative, and now he is being punished severely for it.
It’s because they’ve claimed so many victories that they have earned the luxury to demand more than a cowering tolerance from their ideological opponents. Conservatives and Christians who tried to keep their hands clean by merely putting up with the slaughter of children and the destruction of the nuclear family are now faced with a dilemma. They can’t just tacitly endorse evil anymore — they are going to be required to give their enthusiastic and active approval.
You’re either with them or against them.