By: Shawn Fleetwood | Staff Writer for The Federalist – University of Mary Washington | Twitter: @ShawnFleetwood
Former NFL head coach Tony Dungy made his first-ever appearance at the March for Life in Washington, D.C. on Friday, and predictably, Twitter’s leftist blue checkmark brigade is out in full force demanding he be canceled for it.
After tweeting on Thursday morning that he and his wife would be attending the annual gathering of pro-lifers, Dungy, an outspoken Christian, soon found himself on the receiving end of a wave of attacks from left-wing activists masquerading as journalists. Within hours of Dungy’s announcement, The Nation’s sports editor, Dave Zirin, published an article accusing the co-host of NBC’s “Football Night in America” of being a “right-wing zealot” and “anti-gay bigot.”
“Dungy should feel shame. Instead, he is emboldened, ready to take the stage at a rally that’s been a blunt instrument for robbing people of their rights to privacy and the rights to their own bodies,” Zirin wrote, adding that NBC and the NFL’s “silence speaks volumes. It’s a silence that’s … almost as loud as the thousands of people descending upon Washington—some mandatorily—to celebrate a fascistic, discredited Supreme Court and the loss of our rights.”
Grown man-child and former sportswriter Keith Olbermann decided to throw his irrelevant opinion into the mix, calling for NBC Sports to fire Dungy for attending the annual event.
“Dear @nbcsports – if you have any remaining concern for your operational reputation, fire Tony Dungy now. He is using you,” Olbermann demanded in melodramatic fashion.
During a speech before pro-lifers at the March, Dungy evoked the collapse of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, specifically pointing to the power of prayer and God’s use of football “to shine some light on the subject of life for all of us.”
“An unbelievable thing happened that night. A professional football game with millions of dollars of ticket money and advertising money on the line – that game was canceled. Why? Because a life was at stake, and people wanted to see that life saved,” Dungy said. “That should be encouraging to us, because that’s exactly why we’re here today because every day in this country, innocent lives are at stake. The only difference is they don’t belong to a famous athlete, and they’re not seen on national TV. But those lives are still important to God and in God’s eyes.”
The backlash against his appearance at this year’s March for Life rally isn’t the first time Dungy has faced hatred from miserable leftists over his religious views. In 2018, the former Indianapolis Colts head coach caught flak for saying on live television that then-Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles would play well in the Super Bowl “because his Christian faith would allow him to play with confidence.”
“Nick Foles told me last week that he felt the Lord had him in Philadelphia for a special moment and he played like it tonight,” Dungy added in a tweet following the Eagles’ victory over the New England Patriots.
Two days after Dungy’s remarks and tweet, Editor-in-Chief Kyle Koster of The Big Lead published an article questioning whether the former head coach was “analyzing or evangelizing” Foles’ Super Bowl performance.
“Dungy, a very public and proud Christian, pushed a narrative favorable to Christianity that may or may not be true,” Koster wrote. “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.”
In boss-like style, Dungy refused to bow to the mob and defended his comments.
Christians Should Replicate Dungy’s Bravery
While Dungy shouldn’t be viewed as any sort of idol (after all, we’re all sinners), his unapologetic devotion to Christ when faced with attacks on his faith is something Christians should seek to mimic.
It’s no secret the secularization of our modern culture has led many Christians to either compromise their faith or hide it entirely. Figures such as Dungy and Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov, who refused to wear his team’s pro-LGBT jersey during pregame warmups on religious grounds, are a rarity among high-profile figures, let alone everyday followers of Christ. And therein lies the problem.
At the end of the day, Christians can’t leave it up to one or a few individuals to be lone voices publicly standing for their faith. In many respects, the surrender of our beliefs — in large part, to avoid scrutiny from fellow sinners — has further enabled the sinful rot plaguing the nation’s devolving culture. If Christians want America to rediscover its biblical roots, it’s going to require all of us to take a page from Dungy’s playbook and place our love for God above our fear of the mob.
Shawn Fleetwood is a Staff Writer for The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington. He also serves as a state content writer for Convention of States Action and his work has been featured in numerous outlets, including RealClearPolitics, RealClearHealth, and Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnFleetwood
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