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MSNBC host quickly walks back praise for pro-life Tony Dungy after being informed of controversial tweet
Image source: MSNBC screenshot

MSNBC host quickly walks back praise for pro-life Tony Dungy after being informed of controversial tweet

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough walked back a defense of Tony Dungy on Monday after being told about a controversial tweet the former NFL coach posted last week.

What is the background?

Last week, Dungy responded to a proposal from Minnesota state Rep. Sandra Feist (D) that female menstrual items be placed in boys' bathrooms in schools by claiming that some schools have installed litter boxes in bathrooms.

"That's nothing," Dungy wrote in a now-deleted tweet. "Some school districts are putting litter boxes in the school bathrooms for students who identify as cats. Very important to address every student's needs."

The claim about litter boxes has been debunked. Dungy, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, later apologized for his tweet, which critics condemned as being anti-LGBT.

What happened on MSNBC?

On "Morning Joe," Scarborough defended Dungy from criticism for speaking at the annual March For Life rally in Washington last week and praised him for standing on his principles.

He said:

Tony Dungy, great former coach and great analyst— he decided to go to the pro-life march in Washington. There were columns written about him, comparing everybody at the pro-life march to Q-Anon, to truthers, to Jan. 6th types.

No. Tony Dungy has talked about his beliefs, he’s talked about his faith, and he’s pro-life. Forty percent of Americans, according to the latest Gallup poll, are pro-life. Do we push him to that side of the conversation? Or do we figure out a way to let a guy have his own beliefs, that 40% of Americans have as well, and still be on TV without catching a lot of crap because he decides he wants to go to a pro-life march?

A forceful defense, no doubt — that Scarborough quickly walked back after being informed about Dungy's controversial "litter box" tweet.

"A couple of follow-ups: First of all, you said we have to admit when we make mistakes. Well — let's just say when I talked about Tony Dungy, it was incomplete,” Scarborough said.

"I had read tweets about how he had been attacked for going to the pro-life march, but also, Alex just sent me this: ‘Tony Dungy apologizes after spreading debunked anti-transgender conspiracy theories,'" he continued. "So, there’s two sides to that story, or actually, multiple stories this weekend about Tony Dungy, so let me put that out there."

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