Colts Coach Favors Obama
Once criticized for speaking to a conservative Christian group, Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy favors Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in the presidential election.
I was an Obama guy in the primaries, Dungy said in an interview with Kenny Mayne in the Aug. 11 issue of ESPN the Magazine. I remember hearing Dr. Kings I have a dream speech when I was 7, but I never thought Id see an African-American with an opportunity to win the presidency. So this has been stunning to me.
I havent made up my mind, but Im definitely leaning toward Obama, Dungy said.
On one level, the preference isnt surprising, since both men are high-profile African-Americans. And with Indiana being talked about as a potential battleground state, few individuals are more popular than Dungy outside the sport of basketball.
But the coachs nod doesnt come without a potential downside for Obama.
Back in March 2007, Dungy was criticized, particularly by gay activists, for accepting an award from the Indiana Family Institute, specifically because of their opposition to same-sex marriage. In advance of his appearance, some individuals wanted the Super Bowl-winning coach do disavow the conservative Christian groups views. But Dungy, who isnt shy about his faith, did precisely the opposite.
Im on the Lords side, and I appreciate IFI for the stance their taking, and I embrace that stance, okay, and thats important, Dungy said in his speech.
Family is important, and thats what were trying to support. Were not anti anything else, were not trying to downgrade anyone else, hate anyone else, but were trying to promote the family, family values, the Lords way, just like Im trying to win on the football field the Lords way. No different, Dungy added.
Obama already has strained relations with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, whether it is rumors about him choosing former Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn (D) to be his running mate or campaigning with gospel entertainer Donnie McClurkin in South Carolina early in the primary season.