There Are Social Topics That Need To Be Discussed And Social Topics That Should Not Be Discussed. Apparently, That Is.

Tony Dungy is a former NFL player, coach and now works as a football commentator for NBC.

There is no doubt that this year has been tough on the NFL, and much can be blamed on the league itself. Many people (us included) think that attendance and viewership numbers are down because of the league’s lack of action for players protesting during the national anthem. Many people simply walked away from the games as did some members of the Raised on Hoecakes. We also believe that some of the attendance and viewership issues are related to the inability of some people to have an attention span of more than 7 minutes, which is not even half a quarter in a football game. While viewership overall was down, viewership on the NFL Networks’ “Red Zone” station was up. The “Red Zone” shows just scores and scoring plays which affect fantasy football and things like that.

It was widely reported that this past weekend there was a game for the NFL Championship called the “Super Bowl.” We didn’t care about it and didn’t watch it, but we did read that the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots.

The Eagles were led by quarterback Nick Foles, who happens to be a man of Christian faith as is Tony Dungy.

After the game, Dungy made a couple of tweets talking about Foles’ faith and a discussion they had about it.

Congratulations to the Eagles. Nick Foles told me last week that he felt the Lord had him in Philadelphia for a special moment and he played like it tonight.
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) February 5, 2018

After all the celebrations and confetti Justin caught up with the 3 Eagles QBs Nick Foles, Carson Wentz & Nate Sudfeld along with Zach Ertz who scored the winning TD. They were in a room by themselves—praying and thanking God. It was great for him to see that.
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) February 5, 2018

For those tweets, Dungy was criticized for bringing “religion” into sports.

The criticism baffles us.

When the NFL players were protesting, what we constantly heard was what motivated and drove them to try and make the world a better place. We heard about what drove these players on the field and off. We heard about their actions in support of their beliefs and many people cheered and supported them for living up to what they believe.

Now when Dungy points out how Foles lived up to his beliefs, well, that was off topic.

Kyle Foster of the Big Lead writes:

When viewed through that lens, Dungy’s assertion isn’t as controversial as it may seem. The problem, though, is that one must consider the source of such a narrative when assessing merits. And it would be naive to think Dungy trumpeting the benefits of faith is something being done from a distance while only wearing an analyst’s hat.

His long history of evangelizing must be weighed. Would Dungy have credited another faith for grounding a quarterback? Would he have credited the birth of a child or a social awakening? I am not passing judgement, or suggesting he wouldn’t have. But it’s worth wondering.

Dungy, a very public and proud Christian, pushed a narrative favorable to Christianity that may or may not be true. His possible agenda should come into play here, just as it would if an outspoken vegan was trumpeting Tom Brady’s revolutionary diet or an outspoken atheist crediting Arian Foster’s worldview for his performance.

We don’t remember writers and analysts looking to examine and comment on the motivation of players for protesting, much less the motivation for supporting the players by those same analysts and writers. No one questioned the reason for the players’ protests or those who supported them from media platforms.

Yet when it came to Dungy, Foles and their religious beliefs, people want to question those motives.

We don’t get it.

Why is it practically mandatory to accept without question the beliefs and stances on who people are and their efforts to make society better when they are kneeling during the national anthem, but we have to question the statements of players and analysts when they note the motivation is religious – particularly the Christian faith.

Years ago we remember when Tim Tebow was playing and he would take a knee and pray after a score. He was told he couldn’t do that on the field, so without fanfare, he moved his prayer to the sidelines. Think about that for a moment. While receivers, backs, and quarterbacks were running around in celebration, taunting members of the opposite team and selfishly saying “look at me! Look at what I did!” Tebow was criticized and told to take his moment where he wasn’t taunting, wasn’t saying “look at me,” and wasn’t self promoting to the sidelines.

Which actions are better for society? The selfish “look at me? The trash talking? Or the quiet moment of reflection and prayer? Even if you don’t believe in the prayer, can you really say that trash talking and screaming how great you are as a player (while dismissing the efforts of the other 10 guys on your team who are on the field who made the play happen as well,) translates well into the real world off the playing field? Is that better for society? A “look at me!” and selfish attitude?

For his part, Dungy is not backing down:

NBC pays me to express my opinion. And it was my opinion that Nick Foles would play well because his Christian faith would allow him to to play with confidence. And that he’s a good QB. I think I was right on both counts.

— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) February 6, 2018

It’s kind of hard to argue with “events proved me right” in any discussion, but Foster tries to do just that in saying:

Dungy expressing his beliefs on his personal time and platform is one thing. And even if I disagree with him sometimes, I appreciate his candor and willingness to open himself up for criticism. But when his beliefs seep into his analyst role — either unintentionally or otherwise — they should be checked, both by NBC and the public.

So you have one member of the media criticizing another and asking that the person be censored by their company.

While apparently it’s okay to have beliefs that support protesting players and those beliefs and the platform the media used to support the players should never be questioned, here Foster wants to question and censor Dungy for his beliefs and support of another person who believes the same thing.

Funny how hypocrisy works, isn’t it?

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