On Tuesday, the New York Giants announced that they had hired David Tyree as their new Director of Player Development, replacing Charles Way, who was named the NFL's Head of Player Engagement. It was a decision everyone knew was going to have consequences from the LGBT community, and mere hours after the hire was publicly announced, the Human Rights Campaign release a scathing statement speaking out against Tyree, the Giants and their decision to hire a pro-traditional marriage advocate.
The HRC specifically targeted the Giants and Tyree over comments he had made in 2011 — after having left the Giants and retiring from the NFL — in which he stated he'd trade winning Super Bowl XLII for the elimination of gay marriage. He also went on to state that he believes there is no scientific evidence that supports homosexuality as anything other than being a choice and that he, in fact, knows many "former homosexuals."
@ronbachar there are many former homosexual men & women in this country & no scientific data to support the claim of being born gay.— David Tyree (@DTyree85) June 18, 2011
Despite all of those comments — some of which seem admittedly over-the-top — Tyree has long insisted he has no personal issue with homosexuals, is not a bigot and would not be opposed to playing on the same team with one.
"I don't agree with [gay marriage] because God doesn't agree with it. As a Christian, I don't agree. Society may be changing but God is not," Tyree said in 2013. "This is not personal. I could still be in a locker room with a gay man and still love him as a teammate. I can be tolerant, but the problem is people aren't tolerant of the views people like me have. If you don't agree with that lifestyle, you're a bigot. I'm not a bigot. I have different viewpoints."
Still, that was and is not enough for the HRC or their president, Chad Griffin. They continue to feel that Tyree and his beliefs should not be rewarded with a new job and that is also tarnishes the reputation of the New York Giants.
"When did Tyree decide to be straight?" Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin asked in the statement. "The idea that someone can change their sexual orientation or gender identity is ludicrous, and the New York Giants are risking their credibility by hiring someone who publicly advocates this junk science. His opposition to basic legal equality aside, David Tyree's proselytizing of such dangerous practices goes against the positive work the Giants organization has done in recent years."
Even before the HRC was able to release their statement, the Giants preemptively released a statement of their own:
"[David Tyree] was expressing his personal view, and that is not the view of the Giants organization," the Giants said in a short statement.
Asked about the HRC statement on Tuesday, Tyree refused to comment.
"I don't have any comment about it. I'm just excited to be with the Giants," Tyree told ESPN.
What the HRC failed to recognize was the Giants' pro-gay stance, led by co-owner Steve Tisch, who often speaks out in support of the LGBT community. It also failed to recognize a study stating that the Giants would be the "most receptive" NFL franchise to welcoming a homosexual player. Rather, they chose to focus on one man and one set of comments and label and entire organization as a result.
What say you, Giants fans? Should Tyree be fired and/or punished for his personal and religious beliefs?
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Tags: Charles Way, David Tyree, Football, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Steve Tisch