1. Tony Dungy, who has a history of trying to clarify controversial comments, is now trying to clarify his defense of Jon Gruden.
During NBC’s NFL coverage Sunday night, Dungy and Mike Tirico weighed in on Gruden’s racist emails regarding player’s union head DeMaurice Smith from 2011 that had become news late last week.
“I’m not gonna chalk everything up to racism. I think we accept his apology, move forward and move on just like he did with this team.”
Less than 24 hours after Dungy made a plea to move forward, a whole new batch of offensive Gruden emails became public.
Naturally, social media had a field day mocking Dungy’s take from the night before, and he was trending most of Tuesday morning. The NBC studio host clearly got wind of the reaction, so he took to Twitter to defend his stance.
Yes, things got much worse for Gruden when the second leak happened Monday, but I still don’t understand why Dungy would go on national TV Sunday night and basically dismiss the initial batch of emails. It was a terrible look Sunday and an even worse look Monday.
This is far from the first time Dungy has needed to issue a clarification for his comments. After famously saying he wouldn’t draft Michael Sam, who was openly gay, in 2014, Dungy, who is not exactly an ally to the gay community, ridiculously tried to explain that his reason for saying he wouldn’t draft Sam wasn’t because Sam was gay, but because he would be a “distraction.”
Well, clearly that was correct because Carl Nassib, the first openly gay active player, has been a distraction for the Raiders. All people talk about all day on Sundays during Raiders games is that Nassib is gay! Who knows how much better the Raiders’ 3–2 record would be if Nassib’s sexuality wasn’t such a massive distraction every Sunday.
Dungy’s seemingly oh-no-big-deal reaction to Gruden’s comments about Smith reminded me about what Shannon Sharpe once said about Dungy after Dungy stuck up for Drew Brees, who had said he’d never agree with anyone disrespecting the flag regarding NFL protests: “What I’ve seen the NFL do, is that when a player or owner or coach says something, 1-800-TONY-DUNGY and he’s the crisis manager because he’s so good in our community that if Tony says it’s O.K., it’s O.K. Come on, Tony.”
It does seem like Tony’s standard M.O. for any and all controversies is “let’s forgive.” Well, that’s a cop-out. You can forgive, but you can also call for consequences.
Every incident should be judged on its own. Sometimes a person deserves a slap on the wrist. Sometimes they deserve 24 hours of getting crap on social media. Sometimes they deserve to be fired.
The blanket take on every single issue can’t be, ”Let’s forgive and move on.”
Tony Dungy should do better and so should NBC’s studio show.
2. Even NBA head coaches know that the man who has any and all relevant information before anyone else is Adrian Wojnarowski.
3. Here is this week's installment of the single best segment on all of sports television: "Bad Beats."
4. The Red Sox postgame locker room celebration last night after beating the Rays to move on to the ALDS was so electric.
Watch MLB games online this postseason with fuboTV: Start with a 7-day free trial!
5. Here's the lesson learned by Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley: You can get away with not getting vaccinated. You can't get away with bashing your hometown fans on Twitter.
6. The latest SI Media Podcast features a conversation with Good Morning Football’s Kyle Brandt.
Brandt takes us behind the scenes of his audition with Peyton and Eli Manning for the host role of their Monday Night Football telecast. Brandt also talks about the void left by Nate Burleson, who left Good Morning Football for CBS This Morning, how he and Peter Schrager put together GMFB’s “Wall Streeters” bit, why he doesn’t think Good Will Hunting holds up, the most prolific sports movie actor and much more.
Following the conversation with Brandt, Sal Licata from WFAN radio and SNY TV in New York joins the podcast for the weekly “Traina Thoughts” segment. The big topic discussed this week is The Many Saints of Newark.
You can also watch the SI Media Podcast on YouTube.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: I stand by this statement I made on Twitter this morning.
And if you're old like me, you remember the awesome "Unplugged" version back when music channels aired music.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.
Sports Illustrated may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.