Tony Dungy is under fire.
As a former Super Bowl-winning coach and current analyst, Dungy gets paid to speak his mind about the sport he loves.
But now Dungy is catching flak for doing just that.
Dungy, who is a devout Christian, credited several Eagles’ players and their head coach for vocalizing their faith in Christ; but a left-wing journalist just couldn’t abide by all of that God talk.
He slammed Dungy and said the public should be mindful of his “agenda.”
Some in the sports media are unhappy that NBC sports analyst Tony Dungy often slips his Christian ideas into his sports analysis. However, many of these same reporters have no problem praising athletes for their anthem protests and political activism.
A recent piece on Dungy by The Big Lead’s Kyle Koster, raised concerns about how Dungy’s Christian perspective impacts his job as an analyst.
Koster noted that Dungy makes a point of highlighting Super Bowl-winning quarterback Nick Foles’ Christian faith, and, the fact that Foles credits God for his success. The writer relates two recent Dungy tweets saying, “You’ll notice a common theme.”
After all the celebrations and confetti Justin caught up with the 3 Eagles QBs Nick Foles, Carson Wentz & Nate Sudfeld along with Zach Ertz who scored the winning TD. They were in a room by themselves-praying and thanking God. It was great for him to see that.
Dungy faced some backlash on Twitter for his tweets, he replied to the criticism by saying that NBC hired him to give his analysis and that is exactly what he is doing:
NBC pays me to express my opinion. And it was my opinion that Nick Foles would play well because his Christian faith would allow him to to play with confidence. And that he’s a good QB. I think I was right on both counts. https://t.co/4HOfXt78UZ
Of Dungy’s tweets, Koster claims, “it would be naive to think Dungy trumpeting the benefits of faith is something being done from a distance while only wearing an analyst’s hat:”
His long history of evangelizing must be weighed. Would Dungy have credited another faith for grounding a quarterback? Would he have credited the birth of a child or a social awakening? I am not passing judgment, or suggesting he wouldn’t have. But it’s worth wondering.
Dungy, a very public and proud Christian, pushed a narrative favorable to Christianity that may or may not be true. His possible agenda should come into play here, just as it would if an outspoken vegan was trumpeting Tom Brady’s revolutionary diet or an outspoken atheist crediting Arian Foster’s worldview for his performance.
Koster concludes saying that NBC and the public should “check” Dungy, “when his beliefs seep into his analyst role.”
Though, it’s harder to find examples of Koster calling for the NFL to “check” players when they venture into politics. If we have to be watchful to ensure that Dungy’s “agenda” doesn’t get mixed with his role as an analyst, then why should the political agenda of football players be allowed to mix with their job?
More examples of this convenient omission can be found elsewhere in the sports world.
Take the February 1 piece by Will Bunch who exclaimed that the protests of Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Long renewed his interest in football, merely because they were infusing their social justice agenda into the game.
If players can be allowed to infuse politics into their job, thus winning back the affections of politically sympathetic people like Will Bunch. Then why can’t Tony Dungy win back the affections of Christians by sharing the story of Nick Foles’ faith?
It’s mind-boggling that players can be labeled heroes for fostering division and disrespecting the country, but somehow Tony Dungy and some proud Christians are the true danger.
Yes, Philadelphia’s head coach Doug Pederson, Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, and a few other players on the winning team are observant Christians. And as an analyst, it’s perfectly inbounds for Dungy to highlight that.
Afterall, if he doesn’t, no other journalists will.