Disliking Coach Tony Dungy is akin to not liking apple pie. It’s nearly impossible. But unfortunately, some on the left don’t see it that way.
On January 20, 2023, Dungy spoke at the annual 50th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. He spoke for roughly four minutes, telling the audience of tens of thousands, “Every day in this country innocent lives are at stake.”
You can watch his full address here:
Prior to speaking at and attending the march, Coach Dungy tweeted, “Tomorrow Lauren and I will be in Washington DC attending the 2023 March For Life. It will be my first time at the March and I’m looking forward to joining my friend @BenjaminSWatson and thousands of others who will be there to support those unborn babies who don’t have a voice.”
The tweet has since been seen over 3.4 million times. For that tweet and for speaking at the March, Coach Dungy has been the target of vitriolic and hateful attacks from many on the left. He’s been called a “right-wing extremist” and an “anti-gay bigot.”
But who is Coach Dungy?
Anthony (Tony) Kevin Dungy was born October 6, 1955, to parents Wilbur and Cleomae Dungy in Jackson, Michigan. Wilbur Dungy served as a pilot in the Army Air Forces with the famed Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. Wilber went on to become a biology professor while Cleomae became an English teacher.
After playing college football at the University of Minnesota, Dungy earned the prestigious Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1977, awarded to an individual “who has demonstrated excellence on and off the field throughout their college career.”
He went to play three seasons as a defensive back in the NFL, earning a championship ring with the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XIII.
Dungy then moved from the field to the sidelines, starting as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach in 1996, spending 13 years as an NFL head coach, including seven with the Indianapolis Colts. He racked up 148 overall wins and 79 losses during his time as a head coach.
Dungy says that the legendary Steelers coach Chuck Noll once gave him the following advice: “Don’t make football your whole life.”
Coach Dungy has modeled that, having been married to his wife, Lauren, for 40 years – since 19 June 1982. They have 11 children, eight of whom are adopted.
In his Twitter bio, Dungy wrote, “Live by Mark 8:36,” which says, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” (ESV).
Dungy is also a spokesman for All Pro Dad, an organization that helps fathers love and lead their families well. The organization provides daily emails, a school chapter program for relationship building, and an annual interactive experience at an NFL or NCAA stadium.
“Our verse is, ‘For me and my house, we’ll serve the Lord,’ and that’s the way you have to look at it,” Dungy said in an interview earlier this year. “I think our country would be a lot better if we were led by the Lord, but that’s not the way it is.”
Isn’t that the truth.
If the left’s latest instance of outrage at Coach Dungy is proof of anything, it’s that no amount of niceness, no amount of conciliation, mollification or placation is enough for the Left.
Coach Dungy is famous for being a nice guy. But just a few days ago, Tara Sullivan, a columnist for the Boston Globe, wrote a piece with the following headline: “‘Nice guy’ Tony Dungy’s comments were anything but nice.” Starting out the piece, Sullivan says that Dungy’s reputation for being nice “has seemingly shielded Dungy from the harshest of criticisms.”
Will that stop Sullivan?
She goes on to deride Dungy as “uninformed,” “mean,” “problematic,” “homophobic,” “bigoted,” “abhorrent” and “sad.”
You can be the nicest person in the world, and still, you’ll be called a world-class bigot and a “right-wing extremist” if you dare to step out of the boundaries that our mainstream leftist orthodoxy has imposed.
If you think homosexual activity is a sin, believe preborn babies all deserve a chance at life, or believe sex – being male or female – is innate and unchangeable, no amount of niceness will spare you from the left’s vitriol.
It’s good to be kind. Kindness is a virtue. It’s one of the fruits of the spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23.
But don’t be mistaken. Kindness is distinct from niceness. As Romans 12:9 says, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil. Cling to what is good.” And in modern America, the left doesn’t care how nice you are if you speak up for biblical truth.
Coach Tony Dungy has been willing to take the slings and arrows directed at him for supporting the March for Life. He’s a good man. A good coach. And his witness and willingness to stand up for the truth is inspiring.
Well done, Coach. Keep up the fight.
Photo from Shutterstock.