Jesus Saves’ is the best answer for them.”

Great advice from a man who, by all accounts, has made absolutely no effort to understand anything about the trans community or the medicine and science that goes into 1) identifying as a trans person, 2) helping a person decide whether or not to transition, and 3) determining how to transition. I feel safe making an educated guess that Dungy hasn’t thought too deeply about what life is like for trans folks or the bigotry and hatred many of them face on a daily basis. But Dungy feels it’s somehow his place to know and tell the entire world what is best for trans people. I wish you all the confidence of Tony Dungy sharing takes on things he knows nothing about.


A 2022 study of suicide and young trans people found that 82 percent of trans kids have considered suicide, and 40 percent of them have attempted it. Meanwhile, another study presented to the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that there was a 60 percent decrease in moderate and severe depression among children who received trans-affirming care. In short, there are actual scientific studies showing that, where desired, trans-affirming care makes the lives of those in the trans community markedly better.

To throw out a vague platitude like “Jesus Saves” as some kind of alternative to medical care for trans people is arrogant, insulting, and demeaning, and goes a long way toward showing how deeply Dungy thinks about anything. Does he not believe that any one of the thousands (millions?) of trans people, down through the centuries, who chose to end their lives rather than live the identity the world had assigned them were Christian? Does he really think people haven’t tried “Jesus Saves” to all manner of things that cause personal pain? Does he not believe the trans community prays? Or is saved? Or has a fulfilling relationship with their own God, the same way he does with his?


This was far from the first time Dungy has revealed himself as intolerant when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community. Outsports’ Cyd Ziegler, who has covered Dungy’s homophobia extensively, wrote this:

The public debate about Dungy’s anti-gay leanings started in earnest in 2006.

That year, Dungy was the headliner at a fundraiser for the Indiana Family Institute, whose primary objective was to oppose same-sex marriage. The event’s invitation featured a picture of Dungy coaching an NFL game in his Colts attire, with assurances that “an opportunity to financially support the Indiana Family Institute” would be available.

“I appreciate the stance [IFI is] taking, and I embrace that stance,” Dungy said during the IFI fundraiser of the group’s opposition to same-sex marriage. “IFI is saying what the Lord says. You can take that and make your decision on which way you want to be. I’m on the Lord’s side.”

In 2013, when NBA player Jason Collins came out publicly as gay, Dungy said he doesn’t “agree with Jason Collins’ lifestyle.”

The following year, after Michael Sam came out publicly as gay and was drafted by the St. Louis Rams, Dungy said he would not have wanted Sam on his team.

“I wouldn’t have taken him,” Dungy said of the Rams drafting Sam. And wait for it... “I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it. It’s not going to be totally smooth ... things will happen.”


The fact that NBC remains silent on Dungy’s homophobia and transphobia is mind-boggling, considering there are dozens of analysts in the NFL world who could do Dungy’s job better than he can by a country mile. Has there ever been a worse-called NFL game than the Jags-Chargers game Dungy and Al Michaels did together in January? Is Tony Dungy, the broadcaster, really so irreplaceable that NBC fears even commenting on his narrow-minded takes?

NBC should have denounced Dungy’s intolerance long ago. It’s a stain on the network that they haven’t.