Tony Dungy, Despite What You May Be Told, Is Not Perfect
Tony Dungy, by all accounts, is a good guy. People who've met or know him constantly stress his character, his amicable personality, his overall likability. In the cutthroat NFL coaching world, where reputations are there to be broken down by those looking to climb the ladder, nobody has a bad thing to say about him. Also, he's a great football coach.
But while you're being inundated with retrospectives, glowing portrayals, and an avalanche of goodwill now that Dungy has retired from coaching; while it's easy to let the media make you believe that Dungy is, just like deity he worships, infallible; it's important to remember that he is in fact a human, and humans are flawed. Dungy is no exception.
Let's go back to Dungy's 2007 appearance on Costas Now.
"I'm sure I would talk to him about my views on it, what the Bible says about it," he said at the time regarding the possibility of having a gay player on the Colts.
We all know how Dungy feels about his faith. And we all, obviously, know how Dungy feels about homosexuality; if the above quote weren't enough, he's also publically supported the Indiana Family Institute, which has sought to make gay marriage illegal in Indiana.
And that's just the problem: we shouldn't know these things.
Having faith, no matter what that faith is in, is an asset in my opinion. But it's rude to impress your faith on others unsolicited, and it's downright unprofessional and borderline disgusting when it's in the context of "saving" an employee because you disagree with a lifestyle that has absolutely nothing to do with said employee's ability to do his job. This isn't a matter of whether I agree with Dungy's definition of morality -- though I vehemently disagree with it. It's a matter of professional ethics. It's not Dungy's place to impose his values on an employee. Nor is it wise to publicly condemn a demographic of the business which has made Dungy millions.
It's beyond me why Dungy has largely gotten a pass on this matter, especially as the country keeps trending towards embracing diversity, despite the amount of good vibrations he's been able to foster with the media. If Terrell Owens or, worse, Al Davis were to publicly take Dungy's stance on homosexuality, the vilification wagon wouldn't be able to arrive quickly enough.
Being a role model is obviously important to Dungy, and I respect that. But there's a vast difference between being a role model and being a missionary. Being a role model is about inspiring young people to do great things with their lives. Being a missionary is about spreading the "good" word and converting the masses to your way of thinking. While Dungy may be a great guy, it's obvious which one of the two he leans closer towards. The problem? Maybe the "blasphemous" don't want to hear it.