Tony Dungy is a football legend. After revitalizing a moribund Tampa Bay Buccaneers team, he went to the Indianapolis Colts and won Super Bowl XLI in 2007 with them.
But Dungy is much more than a great coach. Indeed, his greatest passion is being a father to his eleven children and helping other fathers play meaningful roles in their children’s lives. Why is he so dedicated to fatherhood? Because he knows the toll father-absence takes on children. Indeed, research from the left, right, and center clearly shows that children do best in a healthy intact married-parent family. For example, children in father-absent homes are significantly more likely, among other things, to:
- Suffer abuse and neglect;
- Do poorly in school, repeat a grade in school, and drop out of school;
- Commit crime and be a victim a crime;
- Live in poverty;
- Have mental health and substance abuse problems;
- Have lower-earning jobs as adults;
- Have a child out-of-wedlock; and
- Divorce as adults.
Indeed, his commitment to fatherhood is why Dungy is a leader in All-Pro Dads, an organization dedicated to helping men around the world become better fathers.
Thus, when Florida passed a law creating a Responsible Fatherhood Initiative that dedicated $70 million to fatherhood programs, it was natural that Dungy, a Florida resident, would take part in the press conference with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis regarding the new program. At the press conference on April 11, 2022, Dungy stated:
“I had a dad who was around me all the time and supported me, and I thought everyone was like that. I got to my job at the National Football League, started interviewing our players, and I began to understand not everyone had that same blessing that I had.”
Indeed, he saw many players who grew up without dads and were still struggling with the effects of it. Dungy continued:
“It really got driven home to me my first year here in Tampa when I got the job. Legendary man here by the name of Abe Brown. Many of you know the name Abe Brown. He had a prison ministry. He wanted me to go with him, and I went on the first trip expecting to see grizzled, hard, tough older guys, and what I met were 19- and 20- and 21-year-old kids who looked like my boys. And I remember driving home from that trip and asking Reverend Brown, ‘How do those young boys get here?’ And he told me it’s not socioeconomic. It’s not racial. It’s not education. It’s none of that. Ninety-five percent of these boys did not grow up with their dad. And that hit me.”
That is why Dungy was fully behind the new Florida law supporting fatherhood. He stated:
“This is going to be tremendous and such a good help to fathers in Florida. 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.”
Because he spoke the truth, Dungy was immediately attacked by those on the left, who relentlessly spout the lie, in spite of the research, that kids do equally well in any family form. For example, woke Atlantic magazine contributor Jemele Hill tweeted:
“Fathers are extremely important, but yeah … that ain’t how this works. If a father is in the home and can’t find a job, then what? If a father is in the home and is abusive, then what? If a father is a casualty of the fake war on drugs, then what?”
Likewise leftist Mediaite contributor Juwan the Writer tweeted:
“Tony Dungy lives in fantasy land with the rest of the Trump/DeSantis fanboys. This myth has been statistically debunked year after year, and even the most absurd claims aren’t anywhere near ‘95%’.”
Left-wing Forbes contributor Exaviar Pope attacked Dungy for being a “racist apologist.”
Yet Dungy refused to back down. In response to the left-wing attacks on him, Dungy tweeted on April 13:
“2 days ago I spoke on behalf of a Florida bill that supports dads & families and it offended some people. 14 yrs ago Pres Obama said the same things almost verbatim. I’m assuming people were outraged at him too. I am serving the Lord so I’ll keep supporting dads and families.”
He posted beneath his tweet part of President Obama’s speech on June 15, 2008, to the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago:
“We know the statistics—that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely end up in prison…They are more likely to have behavioral problems or run away from home or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.”
Bam! Using leftist icon Obama to shut down leftist commentators. Way to go Tony!
So there you have it. Football great and responsible fatherhood advocate Tony Dungy is attacked for telling the truth about the importance for children of having a committed father in the lives. And Dungy responds by citing the hero of the Left, President Obama. Let’s hope that more leaders will support fatherhood like Dungy and will not back down when irresponsibly attacked by the Left.