EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (PIX11/AP) — The New York Giants’ recent hire of David Tyree as director of player development has received negative attention from an LGBT group.
The 34-year-old Tyree played for the Giants from 2003-08 as wide receiver. He spent the last two years working in player engagement and development at the NFL office.
Tyree’s spectacular catch against his helmet was a key play in the team’s 2008 Super Bowl upset of undefeated New England. He replaces Charles Way, who became the head of the NFL’s Player Engagement Department earlier this month.
What should have been a hero’s welcome turned into a rather a prickly issue for the Giants, who typically stay out of the limelight.
The Human Rights Campaign, a non-profit organization that works toward Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender equal rights, called out Big Blue in a blog post detailing Tyree’s past comments against gay marriage and the idea people can change their sexual orientation.
“When did Tyree decide to be straight?” asked HRC President Chad Griffin. “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.”
In the entry, HRC cites research from medical and mental health organizations that say gender orientation can’t be changed.
Tyree also said he would trade the catch and the Giants’ Super Bowl victory in order to restrict marriage from gay and lesbian couples. He also said New York’s eventual passing of gay marriage through legislation will lead to anarchy.
In his “second homecoming” with the Giants, he will handle programs focusing on career transition, player assistance, and training and development.
He says: “I’m grateful to be an example and hopefully represent this great organization in the same light. … I’m just thrilled to get in here and serve these players.”
While some are happy to see Tyree back with the Jints, others are infuriated over the matter.