I think it’s a grand gesture and all, nothing wrong with acknowledging that were it not for God’s providence they wouldn’t even be living in a country that played football, let alone winning points in it. In fact, I think we could all (myself included) stand to be a bit more thankful each day to God as a standard practice. So, before you bang out some hate-mail, let it be known that is where I stand.
However, when it comes to Sports and an athlete acknowledging God for a successful play or win, it does beg some questions, such as..
“Does God care who wins each play.. each game.. each Superbowl?”
“Does God ‘interfere’ with the outcome? Or.. is the winning team the one who strives and succeeds to get the most points?”
“If a player fails a play or a team loses a game.. was it because God prevented them from succeeding.. or because they didn’t train enough, it was a bad play, etc.?”
I don’t know much about sports, but from what I hear.. if a touchdown is made because God intervenes, that’s technically ‘interference’ and is probably against NFL regulations. It also means that when an Atheist scores a touchdown, he did it because God helped him do it. In fact, an entire non-Christian team can win the entire season and the Superbowl all due to God. I think this was a big thing during the heyday of the Cowboys under Landry was it not? That they were winning because the majority of the players were Christians? They were not only ‘America’s Team, they were ‘God’s Team as well? If the Raiders win the Superbowl.. does that make them God’s Team for that particular year?
The idea that God would not only play favorites, but that He would actually give His team an unfair advantage (an unstoppable advantage really) seems like info that would upset many bookies.
But if God does NOT intervene in sports outcomes or plays.. then there’s nothing wrong with the athlete who obtained the touchdown in taking credit for it. After all, he did it on his own efforts and merit. True, he did it with the health, legs, arms and mind that God gave him.. but if he’d run any slower the other team would have tackled him into the ground.
Just some thoughts to consider when God and Sports are intertwined as being ‘significant’.
— Henry Velez
Henry Velez is a writer, traveler and vlogger currently living in the Philippines. He has written extensively on social issues, relationships and travel.