Football analyst Tony Dungy is defending his appearance with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at a pro-fatherhood event, saying he is driven by his faith to support an issue that should be bipartisan.
“I am serving the Lord,” Dungy tweeted.
Dungy last week took part in an event during which DeSantis signed a bill, HB 7065, that supports responsible and involved fatherhood in Florida. The bill is tied to $70 million in funding for – among other things – educational programs and mentorship programs.
Social media was filled with criticism of Dungy for appearing alongside DeSantis, a Republican and a potential candidate for the 2024 GOP nomination.
Dungy, who formerly coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, said he has no regrets.
“2 days ago, I spoke on behalf of a Florida bill that supports dads & families, and it offended some people,” Dungy tweeted. “14 yrs ago, Pres Obama said the same things almost verbatim. I’m assuming people were outraged at him too. I am serving the Lord, so I’ll keep supporting dads and families.”
Dungy, in the tweet, referenced a quote by Obama where the former president said, “children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison.”
2 days ago I spoke on behalf of a Florida bill that supports dads & families and it offended some people. 14 yrs ago Pres Obama said the same things almost verbatim. I’m assuming people were outraged at him too. I am serving the Lord so I’ll keep supporting dads and families.🙏🏽🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/7eIemEGe9T
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) April 13, 2022
When one person urged Dungy to consider how his stance impacts the “queer company,” Dungy replied that his beliefs are founded on God’s Word.
“I can appreciate how you feel. We all have different feelings. But I have to base what I’m going to do in life by what the Bible says,” Dungy tweeted. “My feelings don’t always match up with biblical truth, but when that happens, I have to adjust my feelings. I can’t adjust the word of God.”
I can appreciate how you feel. We all have different feelings. But I have to base what I’m going to do in life by what the Bible says. My feelings don’t always match up with biblical truth but when that happens I have to adjust my feelings. I can’t adjust the word of God.
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) April 14, 2022
Dungy, at the bill-signing ceremony, said the new law will have a “tremendous” impact on families.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Signs Bill Allocating $70 Million for Initiative Encouraging Responsible Fatherhood
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Scott Halleran/Staff
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.