Tony Dungy is a coach who believes in integrity, as any of his New York Times bestselling books can attest. It’s unsurprising then that he voiced disappointment in New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and the organization for signing Antonio Brown hours after his saga with the Oakland Raiders officially ended.
Dungy spoke about the situation during a pre-game segment Sunday on Football Night in America, via NBC Sports.
"I coached 13 years as a head coach and every year my first message to the team was, ‘We want to win the Super Bowl, yes, we want to be talented, but we have to be role models’. These kids in our country look up to NFL players and coaches, and I really think this sent the wrong message."
Dungy did win a championship while coaching the Indianapolis Colts and did not put up with diva wide receivers. The Hall of Famer joins plenty of others who view the situation as a veteran wide receiver seemingly forcing his way off of two teams only to be rewarded with a roster spot on a title contender.
Dungy took direct issue with what he views as an owner supporting a player’s poor behavior.
"I know coaches want to win but I’m disappointed in Robert Kraft. I think at some point you say, ‘Just as an organization, we are not going to do this.' "
Fellow NBC analyst Rodney Harrison, a former Patriots safety who won two titles in New England, said he wasn’t surprised by it, but also didn’t agree with it.
“As a Patriot, you have to sacrifice. You have to sacrifice finances, you have to sacrifice your stats, you have to sacrifice a lot of individual things. And that’s the one thing that Antonio Brown has shown me, that he’s not willing to sacrifice anything for anybody else besides himself.”
Host Mike Tirico may have put it best, though.
“It’s so funny. The reactions [are] like anything in the league: there’s the Patriots and everyone else.”
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