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Orlando's Jonathan Isaac stands as players kneel during the National Anthem while wearing a BLM shirt.

Tony Dungy defends athletes who stand for national anthem

Tony Dungy is defending athletes who choose to stand for the national anthem. Dungy discussed the decision by Jonathan Isaac of the NBA’s Orlando Magic to stand during the anthem.

Up until that moment, every player in the league had kneeled. Isaac defended his decision by referencing his Christian faith, saying “Jesus is the answer” to America’s problems. Sports viewers apparently agree with Isaac as ratings for both the NBA and Major League Baseball plummeted to historic lows with viewers saying they disapproved of the politicization of sports.

“We’ve said people should be able to exercise their right to kneel during the national anthem and we should listen & hear their reasons why,” tweeted Dungy, who was the first black head coach to win a Super Bowl. “When Jonathan Isaac chooses to stand, we should do the same. He explained his reasons very clearly — he wants to stand in prayer. I say Amen!”

Dungy then responded to several Twitter followers who either objected to his statement or had questions. To one person who said Isaac should have kneeled, Dungy wrote, “You’re making the same argument about standing and not wearing a shirt that people made four years ago about kneeling. I don’t think it’s true that either one is disrespectful … and hurts the cause.”

When someone said Isaac would be considered an outcast in the NBA, Dungy wrote, “I’m not sure he will be considered an outcast. But if he is, that’s OK. I’d rather be looked at as an outcast and be in Jesus’ ‘in crowd’!”

When a follower said Isaac’s message was muddled, Dungy said it was clear: “He supports social justice, but he is not going to kneel for a political or social reason. If he kneels, it will be to honor God. And he’s not going to kneel simply because everyone else is kneeling.”

Dungy said he stood as a head coach when the national anthem was played. ”I think God is concerned about our attitude when coming to Him more so than our posture,” he tweeted.

Dungy also responded to someone who said racists are religious. “You’re talking about ‘religion’. Christianity is not that,” Dungy wrote. “True Christianity does not harbor hate or support mistreatment of anyone. It’s saying follow the teachings of Christ. Don’t compare that to people who say they are ‘religious’. That’s two different things.”

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice