Bil Browning

Dungy story still has legs

Filed By Bil Browning | February 15, 2007 7:03 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Fundie Watch, Marriage Equality, The Movement, You Gotta See This
Tags: evangelical Christian, football game, homophobic behavior, Indiana Family Institute, Indianapolis Colts, marriage, SJR-7, Tony Dungy

The story about Tony Dungy fundraising for the Indiana Family Institute is still trickling into the mainstream media.

Notice this story from CBS Sportsline called, "Don't ask, don't dwell: This will be acknowledged, then ignored."

What it tells us is that there is not a progression of fights ahead for gay athletes, but the same fight, fought over and over again in seeming perpetuity. Acceptance is grudging, denial is everywhere, and the truth apparently sets nobody free.

Dungy has made a point of including his faith as a major tenet in his coaching philosophy, and up until now it has been accepted as another facet of a serious, principled and devout man. But the IFI flap, first noticed last week far from the madness of SB41, suddenly turns Dungy into the one thing he surely didn't want to be here -- a political football.

Maybe he knows what the IFI is about; maybe he is utterly unaware. Maybe he regards it as an insignificant portion of the group's mission. We'll find out soon enough.

But there is about be a hard rain poured down upon his head, so soon after being hailed for his coaching and demeanor and devotion and humanity, and it will not end well. Either he will be shocked, or hardened, or just plain pissed off about being hurled into the rosebush of gay politics, but that's how it plays, and therefore that's what it is.

So far the biggest mention in the local media was pointed out the other day by Taking Down Words when she covered the brouhaha on Monday. Jim Shella (WISH-TV's political reporter) ran the following article on his blog. (I really wish WISH-TV would fix Jim's RSS feed so that it worked properly and I could just add him to the RSS feed - I always forget to go check his site!)
"Memo to Tony Dungy: Sports is easy. You win or you lose. Politics can be more complicated.

"The Colts coach plans to appear at an upcoming fundraiser for the Indiana Family Institute. Because that organization supports the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage now under consideration in the Indiana General Assembly, his appearance is suddenly the source of criticism. (The higher your profile, the more likely you are to face political scrutiny.)

"At least one website accuses Dungy of supporting an 'anti-gay organization.'

"There is no evidence, meantime, that the coach is aware of the group's agenda."

Perhaps soon a sports reporter from Indianapolis will pick up the scent. After all, it's our team - you know, the ones that just won the Superbowl. They've only been beaten to the scoop by hundreds of blogs and dozens of mainstream media outlets.

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