Former head coach Tony Dungy is sometimes looked at across the NFL as its moral arbiter.
He had some interesting viewpoints on NBC’s Football Night in America, talking to co-host Dan Patrick about the recent protests with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and others not standing for the national anthem.
“There was a time, Dan, when I didn’t stand up for the national anthem,” Dungy said to Patrick. “But as I grew as a Christian man I felt like that wasn’t the right thing to do for me.”
He talked about his late father, a World War II veteran, and a conversation he had with him in 1968. They talked about the conversation at the time about black people possibly not standing for the national anthem. His father told him to do what ever he thinks would make the situation better. Dungy believes his father would have been fine with the decision some players have made to not stand.
“As a veteran he would not be offended,” Dungy told Patrick. “He would tell them the same thing he told me. He would say if you really believe what you’re doing is going to make things better than do it. Because that’s why we fought, to make America the land of the free and the home of the brave. So people who look differently or even think differently can still have their views expressed.”
Arian Foster, Jelani Jenkins, Kenny Stills and Michael Thomas of the Miami Dolphins all took a knee during the national anthem in today’s game against the Seattle Seahawks.