Tony Dungy on Nick Foles and Giving a Voice to Christians in the NFL: ‘That’s One of the Reasons God Has Me at NBC’ 

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WASHINGTON – Legendary NFL coach Tony Dungy tells CBN News one of the reasons he believes God has him working as a sports analyst is “to be the voice” for Christian players who want to speak about their faith.

Dungy, an analyst on NBC’s “Football Night in America,” sat down with CBN News to talk about the new children’s book series he wrote with his wife, Lauren. 

Dungy also spoke about football and comments he made this past Super Bowl after he interviewed Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles.   

“He told me he felt that God had him on that Philadelphia Eagles team for a reason,” Dungy explained. “He had been the backup quarterback, now he was starting in the Super Bowl and he felt very confident he was going to have a good game because he believed God had him there for that purpose.”

Dungy shared their conversation with viewers and, to his surprise, received some backlash.

“A lot of people said, ‘Well, you shouldn’t bring religion into it,’ and I was just reporting the facts,” said Dungy. “But believe it or not, I got much more support than I did heat. So many people wrote in and said, ‘Hey, I’m glad that you said and reported on exactly what he said and I’m glad you talked about his faith in Christ.'”

In fact, Dungy believes that’s why God has him at NBC.

“I feel like that’s one of the reasons God has me at NBC, to be the voice for some of these Christian athletes who want to say those things,” he explained.  

Dungy says Christian athletes should be free to talk about their faith in the same way other athletes speak about issues that are important to them. 

“I think people have to understand that Christian athletes have the same ability to espouse their views as anyone else has and if we ask them a question about, what is allowing them to play well, and they say, ‘It’s my faith in Christ’ or ‘It’s the Holy Spirit,’ we can’t hold that in and we can’t begrudge them of that.”

Dungy is a former NFL player himself and was the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts when they won the 2007 Super Bowl. 

In addition to football and broadcasting, he and his wife head the Dungy Family Foundation. Dungy is also a spokesman for the fatherhood program, All Pro Dad and has written several books. 

Transcript:

Jenna Browder: “I want to talk to you about faith in sports, you took some heat this past Super Bowl when you were talking about Nick Foles’ faith. What do you say to your critics?”

Tony Dungy: “Well, again, this was on social media, I was working for NBC, broadcasting the game and one of my responsibilities was to interview Nick Foles and he told me about his Christian faith. He told me he felt that God had him on that Philadelphia Eagles team for a reason. He had been the backup quarterback, now he was starting in the Super Bowl and he felt very confident he was going to have a good game because he believed God had him there for that purpose. And so I said that on TV. And a lot of people said, ‘Well you shouldn’t bring religion into it,’ and I was just reporting the facts. But, believe it or not, I got much more support than I did heat. So many people wrote in and said, ‘Hey, I’m glad that you said and reported on exactly what he said and I’m glad you talked about his faith in Christ,’ and I feel like that’s one of the reasons God has me at NBC, to be the voice for some of these Christian athletes who want to say those things. So, it’s all been great and I think people have to understand that Christian athletes have the same ability to espouse their views as anyone else has and if we ask them a question about, what is allowing them to play well, and they say, ‘It’s my faith in Christ’ or ‘It’s the Holy Spirit,’ we can’t hold that in and we can’t begrudge them of that.” 

 

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