Tony Dungy’s tweet, the speech shows the worst regressiveness in sports

Tony Dungy’s tweet, the speech shows the worst regressiveness in sports

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It was admirable when Tony Dungy was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016, following sideline luminaries Bill Parcells, John Madden, Hank Stram, George Allen and Marv Levy as coaches so honored before him in the 2000s.

It was anything but when Dungy accepted an invitation to speak at the March for Life on the National Mall on Friday. At the nation’s largest annual gathering abortion enemies, during the years he remained at the podium, Senator Jesse Helms, anti-abortion extremist Randall Terry and Donald Trump, among others.

To be sure, Helms, by the time he left office in 2001, was “this country’s last prominent white racist politician,” according to Washington Post political columnist David S. Broder. he wrote. Terry founded the anti-abortion organization Operation Rescue He handed out a “wanted” poster for an abortion doctor in Florida, David Gunn, at a rally the summer before Gunn’s death in 1993, shot three people in the back outside his clinic in Florida. And Trump did what anti-abortion Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush before him feared for the event’s extreme currents: He spoke live at the annual march.

However, Dungy went ahead with his verbal engagement, using his famous athleticism along with his religiosity as deodorant for an issue of intolerance.

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This came after a tweet from Dungy, who rightly and strongly denounced him, only to be embarrassed to apologize and delete his words. Dungy’s nearly 1 million followers were fueled by the reactionary’s dangerous deception about schools disparate student identities, and the need to stop them. The well-documented fabrication was ultimately aimed at eradicating the needs of LGBTQ children, as well as the needs of children of color, who should have the opportunity to explore their histories and learn from others. It was an uproar for Tampa Bay linebacker Carl Nassib, and the league has been celebrating ever since. he revealed that he is gayBecoming the first active player in the NFL.

A person at NBC told me on Monday that Dungy apologized to the “Football Night in America” ​​team, of which he is the face. And the network reminded employees in a statement that “…NBC Sports does not endorse or support the views expressed in the tweet and we made that clear to Tony. Our company has long and proudly supported LGBTQ+ rights and works hard to ensure that all of our employees are seen, recognized, recognized and to be respected”.

The league did the same, or reacted to Colin Kaepernick’s protest, impose fines for any team that has a player on the field who didn’t stand for the anthem—I don’t know. The league did not respond to my email asking for clarification on where it stood with Dungy’s associations.

Dungy posted his regret before appearing on NBC’s playoff telecast on Saturday: “This past week, I posted a tweet that I later deleted. I apologized but not everyone saw it. So I’m reposting the apology here. As a Christian for the love of everyone I want to be strength. Strength for healing and reconciliation, not for hostility.”

He tweeted his original mea culpa on Wednesday. He said: “I saw a tit [Tuesday] and I answered wrong. As a Christian I should speak in loving and caring and helpful ways. I didn’t do that and I’m very sorry.”

I’m not sure what “he answered the wrong way” means. But it didn’t stop Dungy from embracing his moment at a podium frequented by white supremacists and zealots in front of anti-abortionists. And that’s where he came up with the latest story of Damar Hamlin, the recovering Buffalo Bills player. after suffering a cardiac arrest during a matchas a kind of justification for revoking the woman’s right to choose to end her pregnancy.

“People wanted to see life spared,” Dungy told the March for Life crowd, referring to Hamlin. “These are people who are not necessarily religious; they came together and called out to God. Well, that should cheer us up, because that’s why we’re here. Because innocent lives are at stake in this country every day. The only difference is that they are not from a famous athlete, and they are not seen on national television.’

I know there are some black NFL coaches who would prefer Dungy to use this energy and his gravitas to protect them. discrimination case against the league’s recruiting practices, perhaps helping the next Black Hall of Fame coach. But apart from words, he has not joined their cause, as he fights against abortion and LGBTQ people.

It is not my intention to criticize religiosity, although Dungy has used his on non-Christian religions and people who reject versions of Christianity. He is an evangelical Christian who has been an outspoken opponent not only of abortion but also of same-sex marriage. he campaigned against it When he was the coach of the Indiana Colts, and against homosexuals in general, including those who work as professional athletes. He he said wickedly he wouldn’t have Michael Sam, who would be the NFL’s first gay man, in his locker room.

All of this is yet another reminder that sport can be, has been and continues to be the opposite of what is celebrated: retardation, not progress. Dungy is not at the forefront of social change in the sports world, never mind his historic achievement as the first Black coach. to lead a team to a Super Bowl championship.

In fact, he will remain on the brand as a speaker in March A conference for all men, called Men’s Advance 2023. It is led by evangelical Christian pastor Andrew Wommack he argued two years ago “Homosexuality is three times worse than smoking. We should put a label on their foreheads: “This may be dangerous to your health.” “

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