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Sports presenter criticised for attributing player's skills to Jesus

Wed 07 Feb 2018
By Eno Adeogun

An NBC commentator has been forced to defend himself for saying American football player Nick Foles played well because of his Christian faith, after online criticism.

The Christian Hall of Famer and former football coach Tony Dungy predicted the Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback would "play well because his Christian faith would allow him to play with confidence" as he spoke on air during Sunday's Super Bowl.

He responded to Twitter critics who questioned how Foles' religious beliefs helped him defeat the Patriots.

 

"NBC pays me to express my opinion," Dungy replied to one Twitter user.

 

He asked someone else on the social media site: "Why would you find it hard to believe that the Holy Spirit could speak to Nick Foles just as much as a coach could speak to him?

"If he credited a coach for saying 'stay calm and be confident' that's good. But if he tells me Christ says that to him, I shouldn't report it???"

Dungy reported that Foles told him God had "a special moment" coming up for him and his team.

 

He was also accused online by one Twitter user of undermining Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who is also a Christian.

Replying, Dungy tweeted: "[I] didn't say anything about Brady. [I] didn't make any comparisons. [I] didn't say God wanted the Eagles to win. [I] said Foles' faith in Christ played a role in him playing so well."

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Since leading the Philadelphia Eagles to victory over the New England Patriots and being named Most Valuable Player in the process, Foles has revealed he wants to become a pastor.

Speaking after picking up the sport's greatest prize, he said: "I wouldn't be out here without Jesus in my life."

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