Former NFL coach Tony Dungy has never been shy about his faith in Christ. Even now, in his retirement, he uses his platform as a sports analyst to “be the voice” that encourages Christian players to bring their faith to the field, when so many tell them to keep it off.
Dungy recently sat down with Jenna Browder of CBN News to discuss his and his wife’s new children’s book series and how his faith has influenced his career.
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The legendary coach recalled an interview he had with Super Bowl-winning Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, where they talked about their shared Christian faith.
“He told me he felt that God had him on that Philadelphia Eagles team for a reason,” Dungy recalled. “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.”
After the interview, Dungy and Foles both received pushback from fans and viewers who wanted them to keep their faith to themselves.
“A lot of people said, ‘Well, you shouldn’t bring religion into it,’ and I was just reporting the facts,” Dungy said. “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.'”
According to Dungy, that’s the exact reason that God has brought him to work for NBC Sports.
“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.
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He added athletes should be encouraged to talk about their faith, just like other athletes are encouraged if not applauded for talking about the things that matter 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,” he said.
Dungy led the Indianapolis Colts to win the 2007 Super Bowl. Before his successful coaching career, he enjoyed a Super Bowl win as an NFL quarterback while playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1979. Aside from his current job as a sports broadcaster, Dungy and his wife help run the Dungy Family Foundation.
“The Dungy Family Foundation has worked with Christian organizations and pregnancy care centers, as well as organizations focused on youth development, in Florida, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Indiana,” the website explains.
It’s clear that Dungy’s focus both on and off the field, is telling others about the love of God and how it can radically change your life.
Watch the full interview below:
(H/T: CBN News)