Why Tony Dungy Shouldn’t be Taking On Rex Ryan

Let me say right out of the blocks, I love Tony Dungy.  I admire him as a brother, as a coach, and as a great human being.

I love his books.  Anything he says, I listen to.  So you need to understand that this comes from a Tony Dungy fan.  But for the first time I have ever experienced, Tony has made a super blunder.

You may wonder what it is, so let me explain.  Tony has made not only one, but several comments over time about coaches using bad language, cursing in the process of coaching.  On theory, I happen to agree with him that cursing, particularly the kind that uses high-octane words is non-productive.  It really has no place in business, coaching, or almost any place else it seems to me.

As expected, Rex Ryan has shot back in response to Tony’s criticism of his language.  So in several days they’ve gone back and forth leading ultimately to the speech that Rex Ryan gave the other day.  It goes something like this: “Yes, I cuss in the process of coaching.  But let me be clear on saying I am a good person, because cussing doesn’t make you a bad person any more than not cussing makes you a good person.”  And with that one statement, the battle was won.

Here is my point.  You don’t change people, increase your influence, or get more listeners by attacking other people’s morals.  Because the truth of the matter is, we’re all vulnerable when it comes to our moral integrity.  None of us are completely perfect and sinless in how we’ve used language, influence, or relationships unethically, or at least unadvisedly.

You get nowhere worth going by detracting from another person’s behavior.  If you have a point of view, set it forth with your own behavior rather than criticizing someone else’s.

Those of us who believe that being a Christian is a good thing and helping other people understand the true nature of the good news is a mission thing, need to understand that we do not influence people by condemning them. Jesus said, “I’ve come not to condemn the world.”  Remember that.

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