Faith by Example – Dungy, Smith

Our First Amendment rights of freedom of religious expression were on display Sunday night for the world to see, and in a most special setting. Tony Dungy, coach of the Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts, was unabashed in giving the glory to Jesus Christ as he accepted the Vince Lombardi trophy after his team’s victory over the Chicago Bears in a rain-soaked Super Bowl.

While commentators noted the game’s historical significance with two African-American head coaches on the sidelines, it might well have been the first Super Bowl where the two head coaches—Dungy and Bears coach Lovie Smith—openly shared their Christian faith. To television viewers in 232 countries around the world, a humble Dungy said, “The Lord doesn’t always take you in a straight line. I think He tests you to make sure you can hang in there and keep the faith. Hopefully this will show there are many African-American coaches and Christian coaches who can get the job done.”

It doesn’t get much clearer than that.

This article was originally published on February 6, 2007.


Dr. Richard Land is president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention's official entity assigned to address social, moral, and ethical concerns, with particular attention to their impact on American families and their faith.