(This story was published in 2007).
Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy accepted an award from the Indiana Family Institute, an organization that fights against gay rights in the state of Indiana, last Tuesday evening. While the Colts organization has outwardly attempted to distance itself from the event, Dungy said in his acceptance speech that the award recognized the Colts as well as him.
"I'd just like to say thank you to IFI for bestowing this award on my family that we accept not only on behalf of our family, but on behalf of the Colts organization," Dungy said.
Dungy speech transcript:
"There's been a little bit of publicity about my coming here. And there's some people that would really like me to just accept this award and say thank you but not really . . . it was even suggested to me that I should say, 'thank you but the views of the IFI don't necessarily reflect my personal views,' and a lot of people would love me to say that. They don't know me very well, and they don't know, they don't know that that's not the way I operate.
"But there's some people that try to take one issue, of all the great things IFI is doing, they try to take one issue and spotlight that, and say, well, which side are you on, are you on this side or are you on that side. And it kind of reminds me of a story in the Bible, when Joshua was getting ready to go into battle and he saw this figure with a sword, it was an awesome figure out there, and he said, boy I gotta figure out whose side are you on, are you on our side, the Israelites' side, are you on the enemy's side. And the angel of the Lord said neither one, I'm on the Lord's side, whose side are you on. And that's what I feel like telling people when they look at this issue of same-sex marriage … I'm not on anybody's side, I'm on the Lord's side, okay?
"And because IFI is saying what the Lord says, you can take that and you can make your decision which way you want to be. I'm on the Lord's side, and I appreciate IFI for the stance their taking, and I embrace that stance, okay, and that's important.
"Family is important, and that's what we're trying to support. We're not anti anything else, we're not trying to downgrade anyone else, hate anyone else, but we're trying to promote the family, family values, the Lord's way, just like I'm trying to win on the football field the Lord's way. No different. I'm on the Lord's side when I'm on the field, I'm on the Lord's side when I'm off the field.
"But I would just like to say thank you to our community for embracing my family here in Indianapolis, I'd like to say thank you to our team and our organization for being not only a great place to work and great young men to coach, but just wonderful examples of what an organization can be doing it the right way, and I'd just like to say thank you to IFI for bestowing this award on my family that we accept not only on behalf of our family, but on behalf of the Colts organization. Thank you so much."