Stampede Blue reacted to a story in which Tony Dungy made comments that embrace a ban on same-sex marriage. Big Cat Country reacted while asking, "what's the role of the head coach?"
Let me quickly make a disclaimer:
I don't believe in Dungy's remarks. But my beliefs are... exactly that; my beliefs. Dungy's opinion and right to speak freely, even about ideology, is a virtue he has every right to express. To take that away, even if you're a public figure, is not fair to ask of anyone. It's his right to make whatever beliefs he wants to make public. It's also his responsibility to withstand the barrage of incoming missiles of consequence.
Let's quickly examine the context.
Tony Dungy was invited and awarded the "Friend of the Family" award at a Christian organization called the Indiana Family Institute that's a leading member for a federal ban on same-sex marriage. While at the function, Dungy said, "I appreciate the stance (on a same-sex marriage ban) they're taking, and I embrace that stance."
Reactions range from insensitivity to Dungy isolating a portion of the Colts fan base. Some even made the accusation that Dungy's remarks are reflective of the Indianapolis Colts. Which, to me, is ludicrous.
Here's where my point comes in.
I've always contended that we put too much emphasis on the personal lives of celebrities; what they say, what their vices are, etc. We shouldn't put so much stock on the opinion of celebrities because, in most cases, their reactions are not well thought-out intellectual arguments.
The annoyance of celebrities providing their opinion often comes in response to a question at an awards show or movie premier; not some random thought on global warming, foreign policy or same-sex marriage. And when most people are prompted about their beliefs, they quickly come up with something for the sake of saying something. As a result, celebrities say the most bone-headed five-year old comments that haunt them later -- in the Drudge world we live in, later means instantaneous.
However, what Dungy did and the context of the forum he was in, is completely different than the stereotypical celebrity shoutout. It wasn't televised on any of the major networks. There wasn't a pre-awards show with millions watching the fabricated skin of the Rivers' women. He was speaking to a small group of people that embraced an equal ideology. Unlike the celebrities we're all annoyed with that spew their beliefs -- like a running back sitting on the bench after scoring a touchdown shouting, "HI MOM" -- this doesn't apply in Dungy's case.
Some believe in Dungy's point of view. Other do not. It's another prime example that right and wrong is a point of view.
Wait, did you even make a point yet?
No, I didn't make my point yet. I keep setting the stage but fail to cross the bridge of point making. Here's my point. Ready? Tony Dungy is a head coach that has a status of high profile celebrity. Dungy is also a man with powerful convictions. His belief as a man of god trumps his role as a head coach. Like it or not, it's his reality. I may not agree with Dungy, but he expressed his belief in the proper forum -- a group of people with like-minded beliefs.
He has the right to do what he wants, during non-NFL sanctioned events, with his free time. He can discuss his ideology or play Madden on the Xbox 360. It's his choice; like it's your choice to do whatever you want during your time off. This wasn't an act of hatred or even action. It was a speech on ideas that revolved around their perception of right and wrong.
I also support anyone's right to rip that person to shreds. I'm a firm believer in answering your own consequences. No government entity or interest group can hold a candle to the degradation of public perception. And Dungy's perception took a hit and he's dealing with the consequences. It's the natural order of things.
Dungy's Comments Spark Controversy [Mile High Report]