Tony Dungy and Tim Hardaway

On Tuesday night, Tony Dungy spoke at an event organized by the Indiana Family Institute (IFI), a conservative group that favors a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. In his speech, Dungy voiced his support for that initiative:

“IFI is saying what the Lord says,” Dungy said. “You can take that and make your decision on which way you want to be. I’m on the Lord’s side.”

The coach said his comments shouldn’t be taken as gay bashing, but rather his views on the matter as he sees them from a perspective of faith.



“We’re not anti- anything else. We’re not trying to downgrade anyone else. But we’re trying to promote the family — family values the Lord’s way,” Dungy said.

Clearly this differs from the infamous Tim Hardaway incident because Hardaway said he hated gay people and got all inflammatory, whereas Dungy is a pretty mild-mannered guy. But is it really all that different, aside from the word choice and setting? Does invoking faith give one carte blanche to demean the lifestyle of others as not “the Lord’s way”? And does the NFL care about the public image of the league that this creates? David Stern immediately distanced the NBA from Hardaway’s rant, while the NFL has remained silent thus far on the Colts coach.



I wonder what exactly Dungy means when he says he isn’t “anti” anything else. Would he be comfortable coaching a gay player on his team? As a former player himself, would Dungy have been comfortable with a gay teammate? The coach has refused to answer any such questions thus far, but now he’s gone an opened that can of worms.


Asking these questions might get us into more Hardaway-like territory, though the coach will probably be wise enough to couch his responses (if he ever gives any) in terms that won’t make waves. Even so, enough waves have been made in my mind. Tony Dungy, the first black head coach to win a Super Bowl, has shown himself to be a bigot.

It’s unfortunate that these two recent incidents involving Dungy, Hardaway, and two major American sports show that there are still acceptable and unacceptable ways to express one’s homophobia in public.

UPDATE: I don’t know why I can’t fix the spacing in this post. Anyway, here’s the NFL’s statement on the matter:

“Coach Dungy is speaking for himself and expressing his views, which he is fully entitled to do,” league officials said in a statement. “No doubt there are people in our league that have a different view. We respect the right of employees to have and express their views and don’t regulate the political or religious views of team or league employees.”


5 Responses to Tony Dungy and Tim Hardaway

  1. nick says:

    Once again a bigot is using religion to justify intolerance. Dungy, a black man who should know something about discrimination, says gays should not be allowed to marry because his bible tells him so. Yea and the same bible, written not by a god but by men, also says no work on the sabbath. But there is Dungy coaching games on Sunday. Hypocrite anyone?

  2. rayk says:

    He has a valid opinion shared by the majority of the voters of a blue state (California) who voted that marrige should be between a man and a woman. I’m sure a bunch of you are going to tell me why that vote wasn’t valid. At the same time tell me why the vote that says my 15 year old daughter doesn’t have to tell me she is having an abortion is valid.

  3. Bill says:

    Poor Nick, wrong, wrong, wrong! Is Nick not discriminating against Christians? I think he is; but of course that’s o.k., right Nick? The Bible was inspired by God, I choose to believe it, obvoiusly you don’t. Let me ask you Nick; where do you read in the New Testament (yeah Nick, we are under the New Testament, not the Old Testamant) that we aren’t to work on Sunday? I hope you’ll let me know!

    On the homosexual issue,

    Rom 1:24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
    Rom 1:25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
    Rom 1:26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
    Rom 1:27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

    Homosexuality is a sin.But, it’s no worse than lying, stealing, cheating, adultery, I could go on.

    I am sure this will make no difference to Nick or the writer of the blog, but, it makes them no less wrong or bigoted against those who a Christians.

  4. emanuel parker says:

    First i want to say that you cant be concidered a bigot when you stand up against unholiness and things that are not of God.It is a christians duty to witness to the sinners and uphold the word of God.It would be nonsense to debate with a non believer about God and his word but i will say as a firm believer that we are in the last days and soon we all will see Gods face.In saying that,it was written that the wages of sin is death.death being hell and life being will have either eternal death in the depths of hell or eternal life in heaven.reject God if you want but just know that you will not get a second chance once your judged.the world is so corrupt,people dont want to hear the truth.most people want to do whatever they want to do and fail to realize that this life is just a test.Jesus died for our sins so that we might be saved.he didnt die for us to keep sinning.i could go on and on but my point is tony was not wrong for standing up for rightiousness.sin is of the devil so whos side are you on?my advice to all would be to read the B.i.b.l.e(basic instructions before leaving earth).

  5. James Trout says:

    Bill, The Bible also says that slavery is acceptable. Should slavery be reinstated in America because the Bible says so? You seem to think so because you believe that the Bible needs to be interpreted literally. There are good Christians out there who believe that the Bible can’t be interpreted literally. Obviously you are not one of them. You are a close minded un-Christian buffoon!

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