What Dungy shared was not an effective apology. Not even close.
Here is what he shared:
This past week I posted a tweet that I subsequently deleted. I issued an apology but not everyone saw it. So I am reposting my apology here. As a Christian I want to be a force for love to everyone. A force for healing and reconciliation-not for animosity. pic.twitter.com/esew5wjUyD— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) January 21, 2023
Dungy’s attorney had sent this message to Outsports during the week, but we had not seen it until this morning.
While it’s labeled an “apology” and he says he’s “sorry,” there is nothing regretful about this statement other than getting caught sharing his mean-spirited anti-LGBT beliefs out loud.
Dungy does not mention the LGBT community who was most-harmed by his tweet. It was LGBT people he was clearly targeting with the debunked claim of kids “identifying” as cats and needing litter boxes.
If he can’t bring yourself to address the injured party, the “apology” is an empty gesture. That goes for anyone.
If anything, he apologized to his fellow Christians. But no part of that was an apology to the LGBT community or trans kids or parents of trans kids.
According to Kevin Blackistone writing for the Washington Post, Dungy also apologized to his NBC “Football Night In America” colleagues. Again, not to LGBT people.
Further infuriating, according to NBC News’ Matt Lavietes, LGBT employees at the company requested that Dungy apologize on-air, but the network declined. NBC did issue an internal memo about the incident. But like Dungy, they have refused to address the LGBT community directly.
All of Dungy’s nonsense about “loving the sinner” seems to be simply false. He doesn’t love LGBT people. If he did, he would apologize to them clearly.
Also note that he does not in any way distance himself from the ideas and beliefs behind the ridiculous litter-box claim. He simply says he shouldn’t have shared it.
And while NBC touts its embrace of the LGBT community in internal memos about this, their handling of this incident has been a black eye on the network and larger NBC Universal company.
What would a real, genuine apology from Dungy look like? A suggestion:
This week I shared a story that I came to understand is false. The story was designed to harm the LGBT community and demean people who are transgender. I have done a lot of soul-searching on this over the last few days, and I have come to realize how very wrong it was not only to share it, but also how damaging the message behind it was. For a long time I’ve tried to reconcile my faith with homosexuality. It’s something I struggle with to this day. I’m sorry that I shared something damaging and false, and I hope after this weekend I might be able to talk with some people in that community, and that we can share and listen to one another. I may not have all the answers, but I’m willing to work to find a way to repair the damage I’ve done.
Now that would be a real apology and help create a place of dialogue between two communities that so desperately need it.