Super Bowl hero
People play in the NFL together despite their immense differences — it happens all the time. So it is for two key members of the 2007 New York Giants team that upended the New England Patriots' run to a perfect season with a 17-14 victory over the heavily favored Pats in Super Bowl XLII.
Receiver David Tyree, who made a key catch in the air against New England safety Rodney Harrison(notes), recently made some controversial comments on the subject of same-sex marriage. Tyree, who made one Pro Bowl in 2005 primarily for his special teams work, caught a total of 54 passes for 650 yards and four touchdowns in his six-year NFL career, but he's still an interesting voice because of that one heroic Super Bowl catch.
And with that voice, Tyree managed to put his foot in his mouth in the minds of many people, saying that two people of the same gender could not make a commitment to each other that involved the raising of children.
Asked in a recent interview with an anti-gay group called the National Organization for Marriage about a same-sex marriage bill that recently passed the New York state assembly and awaits approval from state senators, Tyree said that "this will be the beginning of our country's sliding towards, you know, it's a strong word, but 'anarchy.' The moment we have it, if you trace back even to other cultures, other countries, that will be the moment where our society and itself, loses its grip with what's right. Marriage is one of those things that is the backbone of society.
"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," Tyree continued. "You can't teach something that you don't have, so two men will never be able to show a woman how to be a woman."
Defensive end Michael Strahan, who made Super Bowl XLII his last game after 15 seasons in what should be a Hall of Fame career, has taken his post-football life to several different media outlets and advocacy campaigns, including a recent one in support of same-sex marriage. Strahan recently shot a video for the New Yorkers for Marriage Equality campaign with his fiancée, Nicole Murphy.
"All the publicity that it's gotten, between the NBA and everything else, definitely has opened up the topic again," Strahan recently told the New York Times. "The topic has always been there. It seems like this is a great time to talk about it, a great time to open up dialogue and give people more of an understanding about all the issues that are going on around it.
"I have plenty of gay friends, and I don't judge them. I want them to have all the same rights I have, and all the opportunities I have to be in a relationship, a great relationship, with the person that they're in love with."
Some former players may have a natural gap of understanding when it comes to things outside of the traditional "macho" viewpoint, but Strahan has learned a few things in his time as a football expert with FOX Sports.
"Heck, I work for FOX, man," Strahan told the Times. "They've got 'Glee' on TV."