American footballer star Nick Foles has said he wouldn't have even been on the pitch for last night's Super Bowl if it wasn't for his Christian faith.
Sports presenter criticised for attributing player's skills to Jesus
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.
You don’t know me well enough then. If NBC sent me to do a story on you I would report exactly what you told me. I wouldn’t try to paint you as something you’re not. Can we do the same for the Christian players?— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) February 6, 2018
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.
I realize it may be hard for you to believe. But that doesn’t make it false. Many Christians hear from God all the time. It doesn’t mean things will be perfect or that we’ll win the game. But we get direction nevertheless.— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) February 6, 2018
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."
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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