Sports-section columnists can be the most aggressive liberal jerks in the opinion business. In Tuesday’s Washington Post, columnist (and University of Maryland journalism professor) Kevin Blackistone aggressively played guilt by association when Hall of Fame NFL coach and NBC football analyst Tony Dungy attended the March for Life last week.
The headline was “Dungy shows the regressive and intolerant worst in sports.” Inside the paper, a similar headline: “Dungy has offered his voice to the cause of intolerance.” Obviously, Blackistone doesn’t believe “black lives matter” when it comes to abortions.
Blackistone tried to tie Dungy to anyone who ever spoke at a March for Life, starting with Sen. Jesse Helms (in the Reagan years), Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry, and Donald Trump. Now imagine how he’d freak out if we started talking about that photograph where Barack Obama is beaming next to Rev. Louis Farrakhan.
He vaguely mentioned a tweet that Dungy deleted about the rumor/joke that high schools are putting litter boxes in the bathrooms for students who identify as cats. Dungy apologized: “I saw a tweet [Tuesday] and I responded to it in the wrong way. As a Christian I should speak in love and in ways that are caring and helpful. I failed to do that and I am deeply sorry.” Blackistone shot back:
I’m not certain what “responded to it in the wrong way” means. But it didn’t stop Dungy from accepting his moment to stand before anti-abortionists on a podium frequented by white supremacists and zealots.
Blackistone claimed “It isn’t my intent to criticize religiosity, though Dungy has used his to pan non-Christian religions and people whom his version of Christianity rejects.” This is a lie. He clearly is appalled by any "intolerant" Christian who opposes abortion and considers homosexuality a sin.
He concluded by noting Dungy is speaking at an anti-gay minister’s conference, warning: “Dungy should know going through with that appearance could be hazardous to his career.”
Before the March for Life, USA Today sports columnist Nancy Armour also trashed Dungy for his kitty-litter tweet, although she at least explained what it was. the headline was "Tony Dungy shows his true values with hateful tweet that puts transgender kids at risk."
Then she claimed she understood Jesus far better than Dungy:
Dungy, like so many others, has used his faith as justification for discriminating against LGBTQ people, claiming homosexuality is antithetical to his Christian beliefs. But that’s as much nonsense as kids using litter boxes.
If you are Christian, you are supposed to follow the teachings of Christ. Not the humans who interpret them, or the churches that have taken license with them for their own gain. Christ’s own words – and nowhere in the Gospels does he say anything about homosexuality or gay marriage. What he did say was to love your neighbor as yourself, and to treat the most marginalized and vulnerable among us as you would him.
If you believe in the Gospels – again, Christ’s own teachings, not others' interpretations of them – can you honestly say he would approve of policies that ostracize and otherize gays, lesbians and, in this case, transgender and nonbinary people? That he would praise making them feel as if they are not worthy of belonging?
If you say yes, then you’ve heard what you’ve wanted to hear, not what Christ actually said. He preached love and acceptance, embracing lepers, prostitutes and the hated tax collectors, and had no use for those who proclaimed their piety while using it to demean and mistreat others.
It is a struggle simply to exist for many transgender kids. That Dungy thought it was OK to make it even harder for them wasn't cute or clever, and it sure wasn't Christian.
Armour somehow thinks you can only measure God's word from the words Jesus actually said in the New Testament, and you can ignore everything else the Bible says about God making humans male and female -- "assigning them at birth." That God is apparently a bigot.
ICYMI As important as Tony Dungy’s voice is on racial diversity in the NFL, it does not excuse his bigotry against the LGBTQ community. Especially when he takes aim at transgender kids who are already so highly at risk just for trying to exist. https://t.co/unqf7c9Nga— Nancy Armour (@nrarmour) January 20, 2023