NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — When the Giants added David Tyree to their front office this week, they hired a person whose views are “evolving.”
That’s what Wade Davis II took away from his conversations with New York’s new director of player development, who once said he’d trade his Super Bowl ring to put a halt to gay marriage. Tyree also spoke out in 2011 in favor of conversion therapy in a series of tweets.
Davis, a gay former NFL player who serves as executive director of the You Can Play Project, said he spoke with Tyree at last month’s rookie symposium. They had a follow-up chat Wednesday after the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT advocacy group, blasted the Giants for the hire.
Davis relayed his thoughts on Tyree in a column Thursday for Sports Illustrated’s The MMQB.
In the piece, Tyree was quoted as saying, “My interactions with Wade over the past few months are much more representative of my current beliefs toward the gay community than some tweets from several years ago. Christianity teaches us love, compassion, and respect for our fellow man, and it is in that light that I will continue to work with Wade and others to better serve the gay community. I would absolutely support any player on the Giants who identified as gay, in any way I could. And I will continue to stay in touch with Wade to ensure I am aware of the right ways to do that.”
Davis wrote that he’d speak with Tyree “about the serious and vile treatment that is conversion therapy.” Tyree’s stance has softened, as he told Davis that LGBT persons don’t “need fixing.”
Davis also spoke with Outsports.com about the dialogue. He said Tyree was supportive of Michael Sam, who became the NFL’s first openly gay player when he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in May.
“He said he had no problem with Michael’s sexual orientation, and that his job is to make the players better, and that he needs to make sure he gets better too and that he needs to understand the damage of things that he’s done in the past,” Davis said.
Davis said Tyree, whose helmet catch made him the hero of Super Bowl XLII, could appreciate why his hiring stirred up so many raw emotions.
“He said he got it, and that he said some inflammatory things,” Davis told Outsports.com. “He wants people to know that we don’t have to agree on everything for him to treat people well.”
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