Dungy's Diary

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.


Because I grew up in the 1960’s, in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day has always had a special meaning to me.  I can still remember, as a 12 year old in my hometown of Jackson, Michigan, hearing the news that Dr. King had been killed.  And it hit me very hard because I felt he had done so much–and not just for African Americans, but for our country as well.

As I have gotten older, I have only developed more admiration for Dr. King.  He made a great personal sacrifice to champion the cause of many people who didn’t have the benefit of equal rights and protection.  His goal was to help others and I always admired that.  As I grew to learn what personal danger he lived under and how much of a sacrifice he made in serving others, it had a tremendous impact on me.

Today, my wife Lauren and I have to remind our children of what it was like when Dr. King was alive and how he and others had to fight for things we now take for granted.  Things like going to school in the neighborhood where they live, eating at any restaraunt they like, shopping at any store they happen to go into–these are things that never even cross their mind.  So it comes as a shock to them when we tell them there was a time when that wasn’t the case and that people like Dr. King helped bring about change.

Dr. King was certainly a role model for me and I know that I would never have had the opportunity to coach in the NFL or enjoy many of the moments I’ve had in life without him.  So on this MLK Day, I will be gratefully remembering the man who served others so well.

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  • Acacia KY

    Though I was raised in the 70s. I was fortunate that my parents raised me with the mindset of looking at all people the same way. My dad worked in DC in the 60s, and witnessed first hand MLK and JFK. My dad made the concept very simple for me….He said “this is how Christ sees us all”, which was the message of true freedom that Dr King was speaking of…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002495857242 Bud Green

    This man fought for equality and today we remember the leader of freedom for all in America. He was an idol and inspiration to many. Ron Paul calls him a “hero” and i agree. We need more people fighting for equality, freedom, liberty, and prosperity.

  • Jack Marcellus

    So good to read your thoughts on the day. I too am thankful to a person who gave so much to help make the world a better place. I’m in awe of the power that his brave acts, multiplied by thousands, can still move people toward working together and realizing a dream of peace and equality for all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chance.hamlin Chance Hamlin

    Admiring a champion of freedom and equality while you continue to work against freedom and equality for LGBT Americans is disingenuous and hypocritical.  

  • http://twitter.com/Bgalyean Bgalyean

    Hey Tony.   My thing is this… If you’re a black man, (i’m gay), BY DEFAULT, You are REQUIRED to show balance and equality to the gay community. Here is the logic.  This is our time where society is pressing against us. Religious cultists are pointing fingers of HATE at us and this is OUR civil rights movement now for EQUALITY.  The black community has struggled and come to the front of the bus. We have a Black man in the oval office and he’s an amazing president. IF a black man is against the gay community SUCH as Dungy is racist against the gay community, then not only are you a bigot, but also a HYPOCRITE as well.. And shame on your for using MLK’s name today while preaching you do not support gay americans. MLK’S message was not preached for ONLY black people, but for the EQUALITY for ALL, that includes Gay Americans.  enough said.

  • http://twitter.com/Bgalyean Bgalyean

    who cares what Ron paul thinks….A bigot like him acting like he’s not a racist?? LOL  I smell hypocrisy LOL fail

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1249371473 Jimmie Duke Gillespie

    Thank you for your written contribution.  I too am fortunate for the paths Dr. King created.  In my work as a Learning Specialist with college student-athletes, I have the opportunity to work with and at times inspire young people to be better than they ever thought possible.  My students come from African American, Asian, Samoan, European, Caucasian, Australian, Hawaiian and many other backgrounds/nationalities.  Because of MLK and his great efforts I see my student-athletes as ONE, no matter where they come from, I love them all the same.  And on most days they see me as a teacher who cares or think that I am a pain in their “you know what.”  Either way, I know that I am doing my job.  I absolutely love reading your work and your way has helped inspire me to be a tough, but compassionate leader.  Thank you and Dr. King on this great day.  (It is still Monday here in Hawaii.)  Aloha

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