NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Former Giants running back Derrick Ward says David Tyree has a right to his opinion, no matter how unpopular it may be.

Ward rushed to his ex-teammate’s defense on Wednesday as the Giants faced criticism for hiring Tyree as director of player development. Tyree, the hero of Super Bowl XLII, once tweeted “there is no scientific evidence to support the claim of being born gay.”

READ MORE: Con Edison Asks Over 140,000 Brooklyn, Queens Residents To Conserve Energy While Crews Repair Electric Cables

In addition to his comments on conversion therapy, Tyree said in 2011 that he’d trade his championship ring to stop gay marriage.

The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT advocacy group, blasted the Giants for bringing Tyree aboard.

READ MORE: NYPD: Craig Tamanaha Charged With Arson For Setting Christmas Tree On Fire Outside FOX News Building

Ward found himself on the hot seat in May for tweeting that Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend after being drafted by the St. Louis Rams was “no bueno” and “disgusting.” He later clarified his stance in a statement, stating, “As a father of two, I did not find Sam’s behavior appropriate; irrespective of sexuality.”

LGBT advocate Wade Davis II, a former pro who serves as executive director of the You Can Play Project, also came to Tyree’s defense on Twitter. The two were scheduled to meet face-to-face on Wednesday, the New York Daily News reported.

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories

MORE NEWS: As COVID Cases Climb In Tri-State Area, Pfizer Says Its Vaccine Booster Appears To Protect Against Omicron Variant

[display-posts category=”sports” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”4″]