Tony Dungy: 'If You Visited Some Other Countries' You'd Be Thankful to 'Live in America'

Michael Foust | ChristianHeadlines.com Contributor | Tuesday, July 7, 2020
Tony Dungy, Dungy defends the Fourth of July

Tony Dungy: 'If You Visited Some Other Countries' You'd Be Thankful to 'Live in America'


Television commentator and former NFL coach Tony Dungy sparked a social media debate over the Independence Day weekend after urging Americans to “work to improve” the United States while also celebrating the “blessings” its citizens enjoy.

Dungy, the NBC studio analyst and the former coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts, tweeted his initial comment about America on the morning of the Fourth of July. After receiving pushback by some followers, he stood his ground.

“Over the last few weeks we have focused on America’s faults,” Dungy wrote in his first tweet. “We must work to improve those things but today we should celebrate our country’s birthday. We enjoy a lot of blessings and I’m thankful I live in America. I pray that God will show us how to help our country grow!”

It received 4,500 retweets but also 300-plus comments.

Dungy, who was the first black head coach to win a Super Bowl, responded to several black fans who criticized his viewpoint.

One person wrote, “Coach I love you ... however we can’t take a break from the devastation this country has had on Black people ... us. I believe your heart to be pure with this I just don’t want us to excuse this country from the enslavement of Black people by celebrating it.”

Dungy answered, “No excuse. Don’t overlook things that need to be fixed. But don’t overlook blessings either. Don’t think that everything is terrible. I promise you that if you visited some other countries it would make you thankful for what we have. It’s not all good. But it’s not all bad either.”

The same person retorted, “I find it difficult to celebrate a country that doesn’t see me as a full human being that’s all. I don’t want that to take a day off.”

Dungy responded, “If we’re waiting for it to be perfect we won’t celebrate until we get to heaven. Let’s celebrate the good – and there is plenty – and work to change the bad. Which there is plenty of that too. But don’t let the negative steal your joy.”

When one person wrote, “There is absolutely nothing to celebrate,” Dungy wrote back, “If you visited some other countries around the world you might be more inclined to celebrate.”

Dungy continued responding to followers two days after Independence Day.

“1776 eh ... liberty and freedom for all? Emancipation Proclamation didn't happen until 87 years later...but let's celebrate,” one person tweeted, using sarcasm.

Dungy replied on July 6, “All of that is true. No question about it. But are you reaping ANY benefits today? Are there any countries on the face of the earth that were founded on good, pure actions? Do any other countries have skeletons in the closet/mistreatment of some people or are we the only ones?”

Related:

'We Can't Be Silent': Tony Dungy Implores Christians to 'Demonstrate the Qualities' of Jesus in the Fight for Racial Equality

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images


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-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.