It takes a pretty big a--hole to beat out Russian President Vladimir Putin, but that's precisely what NFL-coach-turned-NBC-analyst Tony Dungy has done.
In a year when Michael Sam was by far the No. 1 gay sports story, it's no surprise that the LGBT site Outsports has chosen as its "A--hole of the Year" one of Sam's biggest detractors.
Outsports named Dungy (above left) "A--hole Of The Year" for his statement in July that he would not have drafted Sam, the NFL's first openly gay player — and for a subsequent attempt to cover up his homophobia by saying the statement was based on the fact that Sam's presence would be a distraction, not his sexual orientation.
The deeply religious Dungy's attempted cover-up was pretty obvious given his record — which includes support for an anti-gay hate group in Indiana in 2007 and a tweet last year saying he didn't agree with openly gay NBA player Jason Collins' "lifestyle."
And Dungy's argument that Sam's presence would be a distraction seems awfully hypocritical — and that much more homophobic — in light of his previous support for other NFL players including dog-killer Michael Vick and wife-beater Ray Rice.
All of which has continued to fuel speculation that Dungy's son, who committed suicide in 2005, was gay, according to Outsports' Cyd Ziegler:
It's shameful that NBC continues to give this man a platform from which he can push LGBT athletes and youth deeper into the closet. ...
People like Dungy are the worst part of sports: heralded for their "fatherly" position to some players and given a pass for creating a dynamic in sports where gay athletes are driven by fear. He needlessly gives Christians in sport a very bad name, and his designation of "father figure" in the NFL gives validity to the anti-gay beliefs of others.
Watch a video in which Ziegler plays Dungy's alter ego, AFTER THE JUMP ...