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Jason Collins still has bitter feelings about Tony Dungy’s gay views

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Former gay NBA player Jason Collins suggests that former Tampa Bay Bucs coach Tony Dungy is homophobic but does not recognize it.

Collins went as far as to compare Dungy to former Los Angeles Clipper owner Donald Sterling in his shortcomings, in fact.

“If you were to ask Dungy if he feels like homophobia is in his level of thinking or if he’s homophobic,” Collins said, “he’d say no. Well, if you were to ask Sterling if he sees how his comments were racist, he’d say no, too. Some people don’t recognize their own racism, homophobia. His awareness, and people like him, are the problem.”

Dungy raised Collins’ ire when, a year ago, he said he would not draft Michael Sam. Sam, he said, deserved to have a chance to play, but he wouldn’t want the distraction.”

Dungy declined comment on Collins’ remarks.

Collins said he became a member of the Brooklyn Nets and played and “there was this myth that I’d be a distraction,” he said. “After two weeks, it was back to business as usual. There are only so many times you can write the story about the gay teammate.”

Once, I was having dinner with a colleague who happened to be gay and he asked me about Dungy. “Finest man I’ve known,” I said, not thinking of the colleague’s sexuality.

He shook his head and quietly said. “He doesn’t like me.”

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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