David Tyree is known mostly for "The Catch" that he made in Super Bowl XLII, so his hiring as the Giants' new director of player development on Tuesday was trumpeted as a homecoming of sorts. But not everyone is happy about the new addition to the team.
The Human Rights Campaign sent out an email Tuesday afternoon condemning the move because of Tyree's past comments regarding homosexuality. In particular, his opinion that gay marriage would lead to "anarchy" and the idea that people can choose their sexual orientation. Those comments were made in 2011.
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"When did Tyree decide to be straight?" Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin asked in the email. "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."
The Human Rights Campaign calls itself America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.
The Giants have been known as a very open-minded organization. They were one of the first to publicly support Michael Sam when he became the first openly gay football player.
Tyree was hired to replace Charles Way, who recently left to work in a similar capacity for the league.
"We are pleased to have David back in the building as the new leader of our Player Development Department," general manager Jerry Reese said in the announcement of the new hire. "We interviewed four outstanding candidates to replace Charles, but at the end of the day David was a perfect and natural fit."
"Player engagement has become extremely important in any franchise," Tom 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."
As for Tyree in particular, Coughlin said:
"His 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."