Gay Rights Also Factor Into Criticism of Dungy
Although Dungy’s appearance with DeSantis wasn’t related to Florida’s controversial Parental Rights in Education Act, some gay-rights supporters said appearing with the governor was “on brand” for him. The Palmer Report tweeted, “Tony Dungy revealed his true self a few years ago when he said he wouldn’t want an openly gay player on his team. So of course he’s appearing alongside anti-LGBT extremist Ron DeSantis. When people tell you who they are, believe them the first time.”
Back in 2014, Dungy mentioned that he wouldn’t have drafted Michael Sam, the first openly gay NFL player. “I wouldn’t have taken him,” Dungy clarified, “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,” referring to the media hype.
Critics of Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, including Disney, accuse DeSantis and fellow conservatives of discriminating against transgender and gay children.