Where were you, Dungy has asked, when former President Barack Obama said mostly the same thing that DeSantis did.
The unease on the left began Monday when Dungy, who is black and one of the NFL’s key promoters of diversity initiatives, joined DeSantis in St. Petersburg for an event announcing the state’s latest effort to encourage, as the governor’s office noted, “responsible and involved fatherhood.”
DeSantis signed a bill dedicating $70 million for education, mentorship, and one-on-one support programs for fathers. The glut of fatherless homes said DeSantis, “has a severe impact on children, and often leads to dropping out of school, crime, and substance abuse.”
“Incredibly, there are those who diminish the importance of fatherhood and the nuclear family – we will not let that happen in our state. I am proud to say we are doing everything we can to support involved fatherhood in Florida.”
Dungy, a Hall of Famer who also coached the Indianapolis Colts, is a devout Christian and has long been a leading advocate for intact families, men living up to their responsibilities, and traditional marriage. He is the public face of a Tampa-based group called All Pro Dad, which, according to its website, says its mission is to “help you love and lead your family well.”
In a statement, Dungy called the bill “tremendous and such a good help to fathers in Florida.” At the event he also noted the socio-economic problems caused by fatherless homes, including high rates of prison incarceration.
Leftists on social media immediately blasted Dungy as a “fraud” and a “bigoted a–hole” after bringing up that in 2014 he said he would not want Michael Sam, the first high-profile college football player to come out as gay, on his team. One black critic even berated him as an Uncle Tom, a derogatory term for blacks who kowtow to whites, saying Dungy’s “Black friend showmanship is an unnecessary dance move he doesn’t need to ‘tap’ into to do that work.”
Dungy, however, seemed to take it in stride and responded that the critics were mum when Obama, who also had opposed same-sex marriage, commented on the crisis of fatherless homes.
In 2008, Obama had said, “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 to 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.”
In a tweet with that quote on Wednesday, Dungy added, “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.”