Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee and legendary NFL coach Tony Dungy had some choice words for ESPN and its flagship program, “SportsCenter,” over an apparent attempt to avoid using the term “prayer.”
On Saturday, SportsCenter’s X account put out a post sharing a video of Coco Gauff.
For the unaware, Gauff, the 19-year-old American tennis sensation, captured the first major of her career with a scintillating U.S. Open win.
Not only did Gauff get the win, she did so against a player that many people presume will be the No. 1-ranked player in the world, and the reigning Australian Open champion, Aryna Sabalenka 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.
So yes, the precocious American teenager had quite a bit to be thankful for and she showed it in the immediate aftermath of her victory with some immediate prayer.
But when SportsCenter shared that moment, they used some peculiar language to describe Gauff’s prayer.
See if you can spot it below:
.@CocoGauff took a moment to soak it all in after winning her first Grand Slam title pic.twitter.com/elBGm2wQeC
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 9, 2023
“@CocoGauff took a moment to soak it all in after winning her first Grand Slam title,” the X post read.
Now, if Gauff had simply buried her hands in her face, or fallen to her knees, nobody would’ve batted an eyelash at that caption.
But Gauff was clearly praying, and that’s when Dungy, himself a proud and outspoken man of faith, leapt into action on X.
I hate to break this to you SportsCenter but Coco Gauff was not “soaking it all in” at this moment. She was praying. She has been very open about her Christian faith in the past. It seems pretty obvious what she is doing here. https://t.co/UOZ6zoCEPC
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) September 10, 2023
“I hate to break this to you SportsCenter but Coco Gauff was not ‘soaking it all in’ at this moment,” Dungy said in a re-post.
He then laid it out as bluntly as he could for ESPN: “She was praying. She has been very open about her Christian faith in the past. It seems pretty obvious what she is doing here.”
Indeed, Gauff spoke about her faith in the immediate aftermath of her win.
Coco Gauff spoke about her faith in God after winning the US Open:
“Oh my goodness. It means so much to me. I feel like I’m in shock. That French Open loss was a heartbreak. I realized God puts you through trials. This makes this moment even sweeter than I could imagine. I don’t… pic.twitter.com/5Lkbz9F2gU
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) September 9, 2023
“I feel like I’m in a little bit in shock in this moment,” Gauff said. “That French Open loss was a heartbreak for me.
“But I realized, you know, God puts you through tribulations and trials and this makes this moment even more sweeter than I could imagine.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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