Virtually every article about Colts coach Tony Dungy praises him as a devoted family man of deep religious values. But Dungy’s values do not extend to tolerance for gays, which is why he will be the honored guest for Indiana’s leading anti-gay political organization.For all the hagiography about the Colts "doing it the right way" that we've heard in the last few days, you wouldn't suspect such open bigotry. Even understanding that prop sports in general and the NFL in particular are not especially welcoming to non-heterosexuals, this is surprising and disappointing. Though upon reflection, I shouldn't be either surprised or disappointed. I'm in no position to offer a lecture or to pontificate about why Dungy has any special responsibility to gay people. But am I off base in wondering why this is both ok and not a bigger story, nationally? Instead of focusing on such trivia as a candy bar ad, why are we not talking about this great guy, Tony Dungy, being honored by a group who's main purpose seems to be to deny rights to their fellow citizens?
Which leads me question what we mean by having a team full of "good character guys." Peyton Manning just might be an asshole, but he's a "good talker," so he gets a pass. Allen Iverson shows real erudition at times, but he's surly at others and vaguely scary, so he's a "bad character guy." How do we know enough about any of these guys to say? It would be different if we had personal knowledge. I've interacted with a few pro athletes, enough to say that he's a good guy, and by proxy, so is he; Randy Moss is in fact a jackass. But beyond that, what the hell do I know? And why should I base my opinion of them on their ability to conjugate a verb or not have tattoos?
*I'm not doubting that Carter was and is a very religious man, giving his recovery from substance abuse. However, I doubt very much that he is praising God, instead inviting you to praise or at least notice Carter.