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Sun, Feb 7, 2016

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Giants hiring of former WR David Tyree already causing controversy

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

David Tyree had one of the most important catches in NFL title history. (Getty Images)
David Tyree had one of the most important catches in NFL title history. (Getty Images)

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David Tyree made one of the most important receptions in Super Bowl history when he trapped an Eli Manning pass against his head that allowed the Giants to continue their fourth-quarter drive and to eventually score the game-winning touchdown vs. the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

On Tuesday, the Giants announced they had hired Tyree as the director of player development.

“I'm overwhelmed with joy,” Tyree said, via the NY Post. “I guess you could say it's a second homecoming. ... I'm grateful to be an example and hopefully represent this great organization in the same light and continue the great atmosphere and tradition of a wonderful organization with a premier culture.”

But here's a potential problem, particularly in light of Tony Dungy's comments on Michael Sam. Tyree has made incendiary comments on gay people and marriage equality within the past three years, and now, gay-advocacy groups aren't happy.

"This will be the beginning of our country sliding toward, it's a strong word, but anarchy,” Tyree told the anti-gay group, the National Organization for Marriage, three years ago when talking about marriage equality. "How can marriage be marriage for thousands of years and now all the sudden because a minority, an influential minority, has a push or agenda ... and totally reshapes something that was not founded in our country.”

In 2013, he said this.

"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. "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."

In 2011, he also tweeted this (H/T to NJ.com).

That last point -- the idea that gay people have the ability to choose whether they're gay and that gay aversion therapy can somehow "pray the gay away" -- caught the attention of the Human Rights Campaign, which talked to NJ.com about the Giants latest hire.

“His misinformed and dangerous statements put his judgment into question, on and off the field," said Fred Sainz, a spokesman for the HRC. "Why would the New York Giants organization want a guy like this working for them?”

So, how did the Giants respond to that after the Human Rights Campaign denounced the hiring?

And, for the record, this is what Wade Davis, the executive director of the You Can Play Project, tweeted.

Here's how coach Tom Coughlin described the hire for the NY Post.

“Player engagement has become extremely important in any franchise,” Coughlin said. “It is the working relationship with the players to aid them in their continuing education, their development as young men, the opportunities in the business world and in networking in the city that they happen to be playing in. It is there to help instruct them, make them aware of the issues and the problems that exist out in the community and the world to try to keep them focused on their job and not fall into trouble.

“[Tyree's] ability to function on many, many levels is extremely attractive. Anyone who's ever spent time with him or heard him speak publicly knows the quality of his work. We thought he was the best guy for the job.”

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