Dungy's Diary

Vote for Fatherhood

 

Dear President Obama and Governor Romney:

In the heat of an election like this, it is easy to only see the things that divide, rather than the things that unite us. The two of you have very different views on many issues, but you both believe – as evidenced by your words and actions – in fatherhood.

I respect the love you show your wives and children. Today, I would like to share with you why I believe the success of our nation and our love for our children are deeply connected. One of the biggest problems facing America today is not the economy or healthcare or terrorism; it is the decline of fatherhood. Here are some alarming statistics on the state of fatherhood in America:

  • For the first time in our history, the majority of women under the age of 30 who are having children are doing so outside of marriage.
  • Research shows that 24 million children do not live with their biological father.
  • Approximately 7 out of 10 African-American children are born to unwed mothers.
  • 62% of juvenile offenders grew up without a dad

Too many children are coming into the world without an involved father, while their mothers walk the path of parenthood alone. This is a problem that is defining a generation, and it is something we must address now.

Many men my age grew up with their father in the home. They learned so much from their dad, like I did. I think back on all of the love and advice I received from my dad, and it pains me to realize that so many American children will miss out on that opportunity. So many young men today grow up without their fathers in the picture. As a result, we have a whole generation of males who really haven’t seen what they should aspire to, don’t understand how important their role is as a dad, and don’t know how much they mean to their kids.

I have asked people across America to join me in signing this letter to you, urging you to put the issue of fatherhood at the forefront of our nation’s attention as you discuss issues publicly in the final stretch of this campaign. Now more than ever, American families need strong leadership. I trust and pray that you agree and will stand with us to make tackling the issue of fatherlessness a priority. Thank you again for your service to our country and to your families.

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

Tony Dungy
National Spokesman, All Pro Dad

Thank you to each one of the over 5,000 individuals who stood with Tony for fatherhood! At this point, we are no longer accepting submissions to allow us to mail the letters.


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  • http://www.facebook.com/edinorlando Edward Morales

    Very good.
    Signed 10/15/2012 4:30PM

  • Pistolpratley

    God Bless you Coach! Well stated and much needed!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/MichaelLWebbSR Michael L Webb

    I produce Faith & Family based TV shows would love to do somethings in regards to this along with Prison Ministry. http://www.8thday.us

  • Shane Austin

    I am behind anything you support! Always for a great cause! Thank you for being an awesome role model for dads across the world!

  • Mike

    God bless you Coach!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/J3rs3y Meggan Nichols

    Mr. Dungy, it’s not only African American. It’s happening to all race now. This is so sad that kids are going through this. My kids are going through this. I’m am so happy that I found a guy that loves my kids like if they was he’s own. I want to thank you for all that you are trying to do for the kids out there that lives this way. Love you

  • Ali mulvoy

    Too many moms alienate fathers and just want child support! Hope this bring attention for fathers rights! God bless

  • Jennifer

    Amen to this…children would be better off having both parents! Fathers are so important to our country

  • Keith

    As a father I’d like to say thank you. You can’t make a man be a father, but you can give the ones that want to be an equal opportunity to do so. Instead of pushing them away
    with the current costly and unfair system we have in place. http://ncfm.org/2012/10/action/ncfm-secretary-al-rava-esq-sends-follow-up-letter-re-dad-bashing-poster-in-san-diego-family-court/

  • marza

    Americans do not like to be told what they can or cant do. How can the president change this epidemic?

  • Chiefs Mom

    As one of those “single mothers”…I agree 110%. My son’s Biological father makes the choice to be un-involved. I send “updates” via email. He sees his child once a year, if that. My son is almost 11. His father has never been to one play, one concert, or one football game. My boyfriend has been to every single one. My son has lost the “daddy’s awesome” belief that kids have. I have never said one bad thing about his father to him. I won’t lie either. His father thinks that his son and him will just be the best of friends when he is older, and he doesn’t see the damage he’s doing to any future relationship by being so non existent. I have since stopped sending email updates on his 11 year old son. I informed him that his son has a personal email and is on skype on the weekends. There has not been one call or email.

  • Chiefs Mom

    I have seen this too many times to count, too…sad

  • Phyllis Wong

    That’s true but that’s not so in my case. I’m a 22 year old college student, and my daughter turns 2 this Sunday. Her father has 3 children, including my daughter, and I can tell you that he does nothing for my daughter. He provides for his other children; he’s not there for my daughter but he’s there and sees his other children on a regular bases. We live down the street and around the corner and his other kids live in another city and he makes time for them. It’s not about money for me. It’s about being there. My father died of lung cancer when I was 8 years old. I know what it’s like to grow up in a home without a father. I didn’t want my daughter to go throw what I gone through. He doesn’t her crying for him at night when she is lonely, or she doesn’t see him when she’s home from daycare. Every time she sees a silver Ford Fusion, she cries out, “Da-Da” than cries when she realizes it’s not him. I don’t get a dime from him, and it doesn’t matter if I put him on child support, he’s the type of man that just wont do.

    I see some men step up and be a father to their children. I seen men take care of other men’s children, and raise them up as their own. I commend single fathers and fathers in general for taking care of their responsibilities and being examples to their sons. I applaud you all for that. Continue to do right, even when simple minded females do wrong. Karma will come back and bite those women where it hurts and they can’t do nothing about it.

  • Mark Ward

    Instead of pointing fingers and playing the blame game, how about promoting the good of Fathers. Thanks for this Tony.

  • Tony

    So my question to you is then why did you chose to have a child with this man?

  • Grege1

    Amen, Thank you Tony once again for speaking truth!! I pray President Obama, Governor Romney and America will hear your heart!!!

  • doglover121

    While I agree wholeheartedly that Mr. Dungy’s proposal to President Obama and Governor Romney is crucial to bringing fatherhood to the forefront, I am concerned about a very important family question that was posed during the debates last night. What were the candidates going to do to close the discrepancy in wages between men and women? Both candidates skirted the question which tells me that neither one understands the importance of motherhood or fatherhood in American families. The fact is that most children stay with the mother in a divorce situation. If women are still forced to work without equal pay, our children and families will continue to struggle. I agree that fatherhood is an important issue to address. It is a part of the reason why women are having to support children all alone. Let’s get a letter going that includes mothers and fathers in the solution!!

  • Kim G.

    We are in need of the Fathers to be a part of our children’s lives. We need more en to step up & become role models for those that don’t know how because their father was absent. Ladies, we need to do better when the relationships end with the father of our children. You can’t write Dad’s story for him, only he can. Always encourage the child to Love no matter what. It really does take a village to raise a children. Fathers please be encouraged to try. It’s never too late to start! God Bless.

  • Leonard

    The plight of fathers will never be addressed. In this day and age it is all about the money and that will never change. All we hear is about the ones who don’t; it is never taken into account some of the hoops some men have to go through just to see or have a life with their children. I get tired of the women who complain and make it hard on some of the dads.

  • Leonard

    To the women who reply on this site and complain about the lack of participation in the child’s life-what have YOU done to make it difficult for this man to have a relationship with the child(ren)? Do you play games or flaunt what another man is doing for you and your child too him? Tell him that unless he brings something for the child he cannot see the child? My daughter’s mom complains about everything. i moved to a different city and she does not make it easy on me at all. I make plans to come and get her and if she knows we will be doing something special(like my wedding, in which my daughter was the flower girl. Two days before the wedding my daugther is suddenly unable to attend) with my family she will either change her plans or not do my daughter’s hair(then gets upset when i have my wife do my daughter’s hair), or pack dirty clothes to send her to me on the weekends with. Stuff like this for the past 8 years! All because I got remarried. This is the stuff the courts don’t care about. Just pay the money and be quiet. Address this, Tony.

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  • Jason

    Riiight c’mon we all know women be crazy, girls poke holes in condoms, tell u they’re on birth control all to hit pay dirt.guys do urself a favor and always blast those chicks on their backs,faces,neck,chest or belly never inside!

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  • The Christian Loop

    Tony, great letter, it may have already been said, but this also goes hand in hand with marriage and not giving up on your husband or wife. It really is all too easy to call it quits, just look at the divorce statistics.

  • Keith

    I understand that a lot of fathers do not involved with their child life. I was one if those kids. But now I am a father and want nothing more than to be in my daughters life as much as possible. I know that I deserve equal time and so does my daughter and her mother. But yet the current system that is in place in ALL states makes it difficult for one of the parents(98% of the time, tht father). It should not be like this. No parent should have to spend thousands to get rights, LET ALONE LESS THAN EQUAL RIGHTS. I have no doubt more fathers would step up if they we’re given an equal opportunity to do so.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/gray.brianl Brian Gray

    Thank you, Sir!!!!!

  • Mike

    Here is the somewhat condensed version of my ordeal to the outcome. My ex wife, either wouldn’t be at home or wouldn’t show up when it was my visitation. I went for, as long as 9 months without seeing my daughter. The judge ordered us to meet at the police station to pick up our daughter so it would be documented if either of us did or didn’t show up. She still wouldn’t show up. After several years of this the court gave me custody. She didn’t even show up to that court date. She had moved across the state and didn’t let the court or myself know of the location. I found her and went with a sheriffs deputy to pick our daughter up. That day is the last day, 10 years now, that our daughter has seen her mom. My ex knows where we live, she has my contact info. Yet she chooses to not be a part of our daughters life. I now have 1 biological daughter, 3 step children and 2 foster children. I am married to my best friend who brought 3 blessings into my life. We brought in a foster daughter, from our Church 2 years ago, that has brightened our lives immensely. 1 year ago we became aware that the youth shelters are constantly over there allowed capacity. My wife and I started fostering newborns. That has been one of the hardest things that we have ever done. It is very emotional to witness the effects that certain things have on an innocent baby. It is heart wrenching to let them go. We LOVE them as our own while they are with us is all we can do. I tell myself that I can deal with the pain of losing them, just to know that for the time that they are in our care, every need is met including much needed LOVE. I try my hardest to be the best dad I can be. I haven’t always made the best decisions or held my tongue when I wish I would have, but I feel that God has taught me through those imperfections. I’m not much of a writer so please read past any of the misspelling, grammar or punctuation errors. God Bless every single one of you. Always rely on God to guide you.

  • Dee Young

    I support you 100%. This is such a worthy cause and I hope it gets the attention that is so desperately needed.

  • K

    You are an amazing role model for families every where

  • cbrat

    I’ve been reading comments from both sides here. The father who is pushed out of the child’s life and mothers who are doing it alone. If Tony’s intention to “put the issue of fatherhood at the forefront of our nation’s attention” father’s rights will also be in the spot light.

  • Sarah

    You are nasty. Treat women with respect! Don’t be “blasting” anything until you are in a long term committed relationship! Women are not sex toys!

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  • Ken

    Tony thank you for the inspiration!
    Fatherhood is a fraternity. And being part of a larger “team” is awesome.
    Thanks AllProDad !

  • grandma

    Thank you. Very well said. Many fathers do not want to be involved. On the other hand, what about those fathers like my son who are denied to see them because the mother wants to hurt the father. Who is really being hurt is the children. In todays economic situation why should a father have to pay thousands to see his children. That money could be used to support the children. Fathers love their children praying that those who love their children will be able to nurture and help them feel loved not deserted by their father ! God bless.

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