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Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:37pm EDT
 
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(The Sports Xchange) - A day after Tony Dungy was largely skewered for saying he would not have drafted openly gay linebacker Michael Sam, the former NFL coach clarified his comments and provided context.

Dungy issued a statement Tuesday in an attempt to explain what he called an "honest answer" to a question for a story that appeared Sunday in the Tampa Tribune.

"I was not asked whether or not Michael Sam deserves an opportunity to play in the NFL. He absolutely does," Dungy said.

"I was not asked whether his sexual orientation should play a part in the evaluation process. It should not. I was not asked whether I would have a problem having Michael Sam on my team. I would not.

"But those were not the questions I was asked. What I was asked about was my philosophy of drafting, a philosophy that was developed over the years, which was to minimize distractions for my teams.

"I do not believe Michael's sexual orientation will be a distraction to his team mates or his organization.

"I do, however, believe that the media attention that comes with it will be a distraction. Unfortunately, we are all seeing this play out now, and I feel badly that my remarks played a role in the distraction."

Coach Mike Pettine and the Cleveland Browns are not ready to give up on troubled wide receiver Josh Gordon.   Continued...

 
St. Louis Rams defensive end Michael Sam (96) during rookie minicamp at Rams Park. May 16, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports