NBC’s NFL analyst Tony Dungy faced criticism at the end of January after he publicly tweeted a morally questionable statement in regards to the LGBT community.
Last month, Minnesota House Representative Sandra Feist openly advocated for menstrual products to be accessible in boys’ restrooms in schools across the state. In a video posted to The Daily Wire, Representative Feist can be heard on the house floor stating, “Not all students who menstruate are female.”
In response to this statement, the sports journalist shared with his audience that US schools provide litter boxes for students who identify as cats, a myth that has been widely debunked. “Some school districts are putting litter boxes in the school bathrooms for students who identify as cats,” Dungy wrote. “Very important to address every student’s needs.”
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Although the tweet has since been deleted, many were outraged over the sudden display of transphobia. Not only did the Hall of Famer spread misinformation, but he publicly mocked a proposal intended to promote transgender children’s inclusivity.
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Yet, some social media users have pointed out that this is not the first time the NBC Sports host has shared controversial tweets about the LGBT community. When the NFL drafted its first openly gay player in 2014, Dungy said, “I wouldn’t have taken him… I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it. It’s not going to be totally smooth … things will happen.’’
Dungy went on to cover the NFL playoffs, despite his controversial tweets. However, NBC openly condemned his sentiments and issued a statement that showcases support for the LGBT+ community.
“NBC Sports does not support or condone the views expressed in the tweet, and we have made that clear to Tony,” the organization said. “Our company has long and proudly supported LGBTQ+ rights and works hard to ensure that all of our employees are seen, acknowledged, recognized, and respected.”
Additionally, Dungy himself apologized to his audience for his actions. Taking to Twitter, the TV host admitted his response to the video of Representative Feist was flawed.
“I saw a tweet yesterday, and I responded to it in the wrong way,” he shared. “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.”
Dungy added that “I want to be a force for love to everyone. A force for healing and reconciliation-not for animosity.”
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