April 13, 2022

Tony Dungy Stands Up for Good Fatherhood

In doing so, the devout Christian and former NFL coach draws the slings and arrows of the Woke Mob.

“I had a dad who was around me all the time and supported me, and I thought everyone was like that,” said Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy. “Then I got to my job, and the National Football League started interviewing our players, and I began to understand not everyone had that same blessing that I had.”

Dungy, a devout Christian, bestselling author, and national spokesman for All Pro Dad, joined Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at a bill-signing ceremony in Tampa on Monday. The bill, HB 7065, includes educational and mentorship programs, and one-on-one support to encourage responsible and involved fatherhood. The bill is tied to nearly $70 million in funding for family and youth support through the state’s Department of Juvenile Justice and Department of Children and Families.

We should say here that there are precious few government programs we actually endorse, but this one is an exception. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 18 million American children — one in four — don’t have a father in their home. These kids are at two times greater risk of infant mortality, two times greater risk of dropping out of school, and three times more likely to go to jail. In addition, fatherless kids represent 60% of youth suicides, 70% of high school dropouts, and 90% of homeless and runaway children. These are heartbreaking statistics, and any program that proposes to reduce them must be taken seriously. We trust Governor DeSantis to have done the research, done the cost-benefit analysis, and to have made the decision that will most benefit the people of Florida. “You’ve got to be willing to do the right thing and be present in your child’s life,” said DeSantis, “and you’re not a man by leaving your kids hung out to dry.”

As for Dungy, this seems to be his calling — even more so than coaching. He grew up in Jackson, Michigan, the son of two educators. His mom taught high school Shakespeare, and his dad, a Tuskegee Airman, taught science at the local community college. Dungy is himself the father of 11 children — three biological and eight adopted — and he’s been a champion of active and involved fatherhood for years. Dungy also knows tragedy, having lost his oldest son to suicide in 2005. And for his support of this good and worthy cause, this cause that can turn men’s lives around and give their children a leg up on life, Dungy was set upon by the Twitter Mob. As Breitbart reports:

NFL Hall of Famer and sports broadcaster Tony Dungy attended the ceremony and hailed the bill as an important aid for fathers in the state. … Leftists on Twitter, however, believed that Tony Dungy had shown his true colors by standing alongside DeSantis, who they described as a homophobic bigot due to his anti-child grooming bill that will prevent school teachers from discussing sexuality with kindergarteners.

Much of the vitriol from the Left was, predictably, obscene and unhinged. “Tony Dungy has always been a lunatic nutjob ‘Christian’ who hates gay people and thinks they’re a ‘distraction,’” said one. “He was also a sh*tty coach that always choked. None of this should come as a surprise to anyone.” Said another, “Tony Dungy, like Trump, is a bigoted a**hole.” (How Trump became part of the conversation is a mystery to us.)

And finally, there was loathsome Keith Olbermann, who called Dungy a “cackling … fascist political prop,” among other things.

All we can say is that both Dungy and DeSantis are making all the right enemies. And Dungy, who lives by Mark 8:36, is leading by example.

“This is going to be tremendous and such a good help to fathers in Florida,” said Dungy during the ceremony. “This bill is so important. I want to thank all of the men and women that have been behind this. It is going to allow groups like All Pro Dad and people like those here today to do great things for our fathers here in Florida.”

Let’s hope so. And let’s hope that Florida can begin to beat back the societal scourge of fatherlessness.

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