Tony Dungy's anti-LGBTQ historical past will get renewed consideration after controversial tweet - Upsmag - Magazine News

Tony Dungy’s anti-LGBTQ historical past will get renewed consideration after controversial tweet

NFL Corridor of Famer and NBC Sports activities analyst Tony Dungy is dealing with renewed criticism for his historical past of anti-LGBTQ statements after he tweeted an anti-transgender conspiracy idea final week.

Dungy shared a debunked delusion to his almost 950,000 followers that U.S. faculties are offering litter containers for college students who determine as cats. His tweet was in response to an article concerning a Mississippi state invoice that might mandate menstrual merchandise in boys loos.

“That’s nothing,” the previous Indianapolis Colts head coach wrote within the since-deleted tweet. “Some faculty districts are placing litter containers within the faculty loos for college students who determine as cats. Crucial to deal with each pupil’s wants.”

Following widespread on-line criticism, Dungy apologized on Twitter later, writing: “I noticed a tweet and I responded to it within the incorrect approach. As a Christian I ought to communicate in love and in methods which might be caring and useful. I failed to do this and I’m deeply sorry.”

Dungy’s apology did little to quell critics, who had been fast to castigate the sports activities analyst — who was inducted into the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in 2016 — for making repeated homophobic remarks through the years. (NBC Sports activities and NBC Information are each owned by NBCUniversal.)

In an electronic mail to NBC Information on Tuesday, an NBC Sports activities spokesperson acknowledged: NBC Sports activities doesn’t help or condone the views expressed within the tweet and we now have made that clear to Tony. Our firm has lengthy and proudly supported LGBTQ+ rights and works laborious to make sure that all of our staff are seen, acknowledged, acknowledged and revered.”

Dungy couldn’t be reached for remark. 

Since Dungy’s controversial tweet, a number of op-eds revealed in distinguished media shops, together with The Washington Put up and The Guardian, have criticized the previous NFL participant and ex-Indianapolis Colts head coach, with the Put up accusing him of utilizing “religiosity as deodorant for a theme of intolerance.”

For followers of Dungy on Twitter, the cat litter tweet got here as no shock. NBC Information discovered not less than a dozen tweets from Dungy’s account, from 2012 to 2022, which might be vital of same-sex marriage, homosexuality and the LGBTQ “life-style.”

“Nobody is saying God will solely banish homosexuals to hell,” Dungy wrote on Twitter final June, which was LGBTQ Delight Month. “Jesus mentioned anybody who will not be born once more by accepting Him as their savior won’t enter the dominion of heaven. That’s the factors for avoiding hell.”

In one other tweet from 2020, Dungy wrote that being “LGBTQ is a way of life,” a sentiment that implies being queer is a selection.

His remarks concerning homosexual and transgender individuals are not simply relegated to social media. In 2014, he made headlines for controversial remarks on the drafting of the league’s first brazenly homosexual participant, Michael Sam.

“I wouldn’t have taken him,’’ Dungy instructed the Tampa Tribune on the time. “Not as a result of I don’t consider Michael Sam ought to have an opportunity to play, however I wouldn’t need to cope with all of it. It’s not going to be completely clean . . . issues will occur.’’

Cyd Zeigler, an LGBTQ advocate and a co-founder of the LGBTQ sports activities web site, has been elevating the alarm bells on Dungy’s anti-LGBTQ sentiments for years. Simply forward of NBC’s NFL playoffs protection, during which Dungy had a significant half, Zeigler revealed a prolonged op-ed on this month, outlining his almost two-decade sample of homophobia. 

“I’ve by no means known as for Tony Dungy to be fired or lose his job or his capability to offer for his household,” Zeigler mentioned. “What I’ve at all times requested for is that he and NBC clarify themselves.”

On Saturday, NBC Sports activities Chairman Pete Bevacqua and NBC Sports activities Govt Producer and President Sam Flood despatched an electronic mail to staffers, which was shared with NBC Information. Within the memo, the executives acknowledged that Dungy shared a tweet that “perpetuated a debunked delusion belittling to transgender folks” and famous that the tweet was deleted and that Dungy apologized on to his NBC Sports activities manufacturing staff.

Shefik Macauley, an NBC Sports activities worker who’s among the many leaders of NBC Common’s LGBTQ worker useful resource group, mentioned NBC Sports activities’ response has been, total, “favorable” to him and different LGBTQ staffers. Nevertheless, he famous that he unsuccessfully tried to get the corporate to have Dungy apologize on air. 

An NBC Sports activities spokesperson confirmed Macauley’s request for an on-air apology.

“Management agreed that the apology was greatest delivered on the platform the place Tony had made the error — on Twitter,” the spokesperson mentioned.

“If somebody is empowered to be on digital camera and be the face of no matter platform that’s, then we should always be capable of handle it with that very same viewers that we’re empowering that individual to be in entrance of,” Macauley mentioned. 

Zeigler mentioned he isn’t satisfied that Dungy’s anti-LGBTQ rhetoric would cease anytime quickly. 

He pointed to Dungy’s upcoming talking occasion on the annual Males’s Advance convention, which can be held in March and hosted by evangelical Christian pastor Andrew Wommack. Wommack is understood for his anti-LGBTQ views and has beforehand claimed that homosexuality is “thrice worse than smoking,” including that homosexual folks “should put a label throughout their brow, ‘This may be hazardous to your well being.’”

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