Tony Dungy to pro-life march: God used a football game to show power of prayer


Tony Dungy speaks at the March for Life on Jan. 20, 2023. / EWTN YouTube

Washington D.C., Jan 20, 2023 / 15:25 pm (CNA).

Former head coach and NFL analyst Tony Dungy told a crowd gathered at Friday’s March for Life that the answer to the tragedy of abortion is prayer, calling to mind Damar Hamlin’s collapse on the football field and what happens when a nation turns to God.

“It’s amazing to me that God actually used football to shine some light on the subject of life for all of us,” Dungy said.

Buffalo Bills safety Hamlin collapsed on the field during a Jan. 2 Monday Night Football game after a routine hit. He then suffered cardiac arrest as players stood by in horror.

“It could have been tragic, but something miraculous happened. The team medical staff rushed out and they got Damar’s heart started again. But you know what? That wasn’t a miracle. The real miracle was the reaction.”

“The announcers on the broadcast, what did they say? ‘All we can do is pray,’” Dungy said.

“And all across the country, people started praying,” he said.

The former football coach, who has faced some backlash on social media for his involvement with the March for Life, told the crowd that the country’s prayerful reaction to Hamlin’s collapse was striking in that the NFL has actively prevented praying on the field in the past.

“The Bills players prayed right on the spot. Now usually when that happens, the cameras cut away from them. Because we don’t like to see that,” Dungy said.

“Back when I was coaching in the 1990s, a few Christian players got together and they said we want to pray after the games. And we actually got a memo from the NFL office that said, ‘Don’t let your players do that. If you do, you’ll be fined. Because that’s not appropriate.’ Can you believe that? That’s a true story,” Dungy said.

“But three weeks ago, everybody on that field was praying. And they continued the next week at every stadium and the NFL teams got together and prayed and it was amazing. Well, those prayers were answered with Damar’s recovery. Now he’s home. He’s been released from the hospital,” he said.

Dungy, who spoke at the March for Life with his wife, Lauren, told the crowd that the nation needs to pray for the unborn in the same way they prayed for Damar Hamlin.

“Every day in this country, innocent lives are at stake. The only difference is they don’t belong to a famous athlete. And they’re not seen on national TV. But those lives are still important to God and in God’s eyes,” Dungy said.

“Psalm 139 tells us that God is watching every one of these young bodies as they’re growing in their mother’s womb, because he placed them there. Now we know that there are a lot of people in this country that don’t believe, that don’t see these babies as being important. They don’t even see them as lies,” he continued.

Dungy urged the crowd to pray for the unborn.

“I think we have to take a lesson from Damar’s story. We have to pray. We need to pray with the same fervor that we prayed with during that week. Because God answers prayer and he will answer these prayers to save these precious unborn lives as we go forward. So if we do our part, we will save more and more of these lives,“ Dungy said.

This was Dungy’s first appearance at the March for Life. After posting on social media that he was excited to take part, he received more than 28,000 likes on his post. He also received some backlash from proponents of abortion.

Commentator Keith Olbermann wrote: “Dear @nbcsports – if you have any remaining concern for your operational reputation, fire Tony Dungy now. He is using you.”

Many more tweeted their appreciation and respect for Dungy.

“I’m happy you’re not afraid to do this with cancel culture and all. Your media job could be in jeopardy. Stick to your convictions,” read one post from a supporter.

“Thank you both! ‘Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.’ Proverbs 31:8 #ProLife #lifematters,” wrote another.

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  1. I was taught that christians are: loving, caring, turn the other cheek, love your neighbor, kind people. Boy, you and Tony Dungy have proved me wrong. Why does the loving church promote hate ?????? There is only one word that fits for you; HYPOCRITE !!!!!!!

    • Could you provide an example where “the loving church promote[s] hate”.

      Instead, the church encourages us to follow these godly precepts:

      2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

      Romans 14:19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

      Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

      John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

      John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

      Psalm 4:8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

  2. What happened was terrible, what followed was miraculous.

    2 points.

    1) The old saying of ‘panem et circenses’ or ‘bread and circuses’ comes to mind.
    2) Given that the owners of the Cowboys and the Patriots have come out in favor of an 18 game regular season, the parable of the Golden Goose springs to mind.

    FYI – When I first started watching more than 60 years ago it was a 12 game season, and the players had to have off-season jobs to make ends meet – this qualifies me as an old coot, a title for which I am grateful – I EARNED it.

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