During an August interview with CBN News’ Jenna Browder, former NFL coach and NBC broadcaster Tony Dungy said that God blessed him with a broadcasting job to give a voice to Christian athletes.
What did he say?
Browder brought up the criticism Dungy received after he defended Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles’ Christian faith on air.
Dungy made the comments during Super Bowl LII, insinuating that Foles’ faith in God at least partially helped the Eagles win the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots.
The day after the Super Bowl, Dungy took to Twitter to defend himself and his remarks about Foles’ faith.
“NBC pays me to express my opinion,” Dungy wrote. “And it was my opinion that Nick Foles would play well because his Christian faith would allow him to play with confidence. And that he’s a good QB. I think I was right on both counts.”
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. https://t.co/4HOfXt78UZ
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) February 6, 2018
Browder said, “I want to talk to you about faith in sports. You took some heat this past Super Bowl when you were talking about Nick Foles’ faith. What do you say to your critics?”
Dungy said that despite those people who blasted him for bringing faith and religion into the football game, he received a lot of support.
“One of my responsibilities [during the broadcasting of the game] was to interview Nick Foles, and he told me about his Christian faith,” Dungy explained. “He told me he felt that God had him on that Philadelphia Eagles team for a reason.”
Dungy went on to note that Foles replaced injured Carson Wentz and became the team’s starting quarterback in the Super Bowl.
“He felt very confident he was going to have a good game because he believed God had him there for that purpose,” Dungy continued. “And so I said that on TV, and a lot of people said, ‘Well, you shouldn’t bring religion into it,’ and I was just reporting the facts.”
“But,” he countered, “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.’”
Dungy added that he felt that God had him placed at NBC as a broadcaster “to be the voice for some of these Christian athletes who want to say those things.”
“So it’s all been great, and I think people have to understand that Christian athletes have the same ability to espouse their views as anyone else has,” he concluded, “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.”