- (Photo: Reuters)
Elisabeth Hasselbeck of "The View" came out in defense of former New York Giants wide receiver David Tyree who has been in the media spotlight recently for expressing his opposition to same-sex marriage.
The talk show co-host said Tuesday that the Super Bowl star has no hate but rather is a man "who is not a part-time guy following God."
"He will always be respected and always was by his teammates not just for that Super Bowl catch (in 2008) that came off his head from Eli Manning ... but for being a man who stands by his convictions in a way that's respectful," she said.
Hasselbeck, wife of former New York Giants quarterback Timothy Hasselbeck and a supporter of gay marriage, made the comments after having a long conversation with Tyree Tuesday morning.
Tyree lent his star power to the fight against legalizing gay marriage in New York, where the Senate is currently considering whether to put the Marriage Equality Act to a vote. In a video for the National Organization for Marriage, Tyree said “marriage is the only relationship that mirrors a relationship with God" and that allowing same-sex couples to marry would be "the beginning of our country sliding towards ... anarchy."
"That would be the moment that our society loses its grip with what’s right. I do believe there is right and wrong," he added.
Most recently, Tyree joined traditional marriage supporters in New York on Monday to rally and help deliver 63,000 petitions against the gay marriage bill.
According to Hasselbeck, Tyree, a Christian, doesn't consider himself to be "a religious man" but rather someone who "had a true experience with the living God."
He has committed his life for the past seven years to serving God, she said. "The View" co-host testified that having known him before the seven years, Tyree "made a complete turnaround based on the fact by pure grace alone."
"I know David Tyree. I know his heart. He said he has no hate. He loves everyone. He believes everyone is created by God and should be loved as such. And he doesn't have bigotry. He truly is just a man who is not a part-time guy following God. He's 100 percent committed to that," she summed.
Though Monday was the last day of the legislative session, legislators in New York continue to debate provisions such as religious protections in the gay marriage bill, introduced by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The bill is one vote away from passing in the Senate and both proponents and opponents of the measure have been inundating senators' offices with calls.
Among the Republican senators sitting on the fence are Greg Ball and Mark Grisanti of Buffalo. Grisanti's chief of staff, Doug Curella, told WIVB on Tuesday that the senator is "weighing different issues" such as civil rights issues and personal issues relating to his Catholic beliefs.