Giants defend hiring David Tyree as comments against homosexuality resurface
New Giants signing David Tyree isn't winning many friends among gay rights advocates over his views on homosexuality and gay conversion.
The committed Christian has been the target of strong criticism before for advocating gay conversion therapy and it's flared up again following his new appointment as the Giants' director of player development.
It goes back to a tweet he shared back in 2011 saying "there is no scientific evidence to support the claim of being born gay".
He's also been outspoken in his opposition to gay marriage, saying he would even give up his glory catch against the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII to stop gay marriage coming into law.
Tyree's comments have resurfaced following his signing to the Giants, which comes as Michael Sam, the first openly gay NFL player, started training with the St Louis Rams.
The Human Rights Campaign referred to his views in comments to ESPNNewYork.com strongly criticising the Giants' decision to hire Tyree.
HRC president Chad Griffin said to the site: "When did Tyree decide to be straight? 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."
Hudson Taylor, founder and executive director of Athlete Ally, suggested in comments to NJ.com that Tyree's position with the Giants would make it less likely that an openly gay player would be signed to the team.
"The NFL may see another player come out in the near future, but with the hiring of David Tyree I do not believe he will be playing for the Giants," Hudson said.
But Tyree appears to be unruffled by the criticism. He told ESPNNewYork.com: "I don't have any comment about it. I'm just excited to be with the Giants."
The Giants, meanwhile, have made it clear they hired him on the basis of his ability.
"We do our due diligence on everybody we try to hire around here. No. 1, he was qualified for the job, and we think he's a terrific fit for us. We're happy to have him on board," Giants general manager Jerry Reese told ESPNNewYork.com.
"In this day and age, sometimes you say some things that maybe you don't want to say or you shouldn't have said or something like that, and things can get blown out of proportion to degree.
"But I'm not here to talk about social issues or somebody's personal opinion about their beliefs. I believe everybody should be treated equal. I believe everybody should be treated fairly. I believe everybody should have an opinion to what they want to say. And most of all, I believe that I should mind my own business and keep the plank out of my own eye. I think that's what I believe the most."
Tyree is a practising Christian and his Twitter profile shows a sign reading "Jesus changed my life" and a snapshot of the Bible. He regularly tweets about his faith on the social networking site.