David Tyree made the famous "Helmet catch" to convert a first down in the 2008 Super Bowl. Credit: Getty Images
Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.
Tyree replaces former Giants fullback Charles Way, who earlier this month was named the head of the NFL’s Player Engagement Department. Way had headed the team’s player development efforts since 2000.
The Giants could potentially see some public backlash for the Tyree hire, due to his staunch opposition to gay rights. Tyree has already incurred the wrath of the Human Rights Campaign, which sent an email regarding the hire. The issue, according to the HRC, is Tyree’s past claims that gay marriage will lead to “anarchy” and that “people can change their sexual orientation.”
“The New York Giants are risking their credibility by hiring someone who publicly advocates this junk science,” HRC president Chad Griffin said.
A team official said the Giants expect Tyree to work with any and all players, regardless of sexual orientation.
“David’s been hired to work with all our players,” the official said.
The official stance by the Giants, however, already seemed to distance itself from his views, as the team issued a statement shortly after the HRC’s displeasure.
“[Tyree] was expressing his personal view,” the team said in the statement. “And that is not the view of the Giants organization.”
Former Colts and Bucs head coach Tony Dungy found himself in some hot water Tuesday as well over comments he made about Rams defensive lineman Michael Sam in the Tampa Tribune. Sam came out as gay earlier this year and was the first openly gay athlete drafted into one of the four major sports. Dungy said he wouldn't have drafted Sam because it would be a distraction for the team. He apologized later, releasing a statement saying Sam's sexual orientation wouldn't be a distraction, but the media coverage will be. Dungy currently works as a commentator for NBC Sports.
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter@TBone8.