National Football League analyst and former coach Tony Dungy says he believes God has given him a job at NBC in part so he can be a voice for Christian athletes.
He also says the media shouldn’t withhold comments that Christian athletes make about their faith.
Dungy made the remarks to CBNNews.com while discussing a new children’s book series he co-wrote with his wife. Among them are “Austin Plays Fair” and “Maria Finds Courage.” The books teach life lessons.
Dungy, a Hall of Fame coach who won a Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts, said he received some pushback after reporting, on air, comments that Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles made to him prior to the Super Bowl.
“He told me he felt that God had him on that Philadelphia Eagles team for a reason,” Dungy said. “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 said he received some criticism for bringing religion into his reporting, although most of the comments were positive.
“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,’” Dungy said before adding: “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.”
The media shouldn’t discount athletes who discuss their faith, Dungy said.
“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,” he said.
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: Unsplash/Stephen Baker
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.