There is nothing new (or newsworthy) about athletes, in post-game interviews, saying things like this: “Most of all, I would like to thank God for the many blessings he has given me.”
Or even this: “First, I’d like to give praise to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Many superstars say this after victories. Many say things like this after defeat. The question “Crossroads” host Todd Wilken asked, at the start of this week’s podcast (click here to tune that in), was this: Do mainstream news reporters, when then here this, roll their eyes with skepticism?
The answer, I think, is, “Yes, they do.” And for others, the response is stronger than that: It’s either cynicism or sarcasm verging on hostility.
Why? Well, in many cases these sports reporters know that some of the athletes saying this are absolute jerks or hypocrites of the highest orders. Reporters know that some — no, not all — of these Godtalk superstars are not walking their talk.
So this acidic attitude tends to seep into lots of mainstream stories about the many, many, many religious believers who are newsmakers in college and professional sports.
But words are one thing. Actions are another.
Like what? Well, as is often the case, things get really messy when superstars are living lives that are genuinely countercultural when it comes to — you got it — sex.
Can you say “Tim Tebow”? I knew that you could.
When I was young, one of my heroes was at the center of similar controversies. That was Roger “Captain America” Staubach, a happily married, family-guy Roman Catholic.
Several years ago, M.Z. “GetReligion emerita” Hemingway wrote up a very similar case surrounding NFL star Philip Rivers. Her headline at The Federalist included a wonderful new culture wars term: “Fecundophobia: The Growing Fear Of Children And Fertile Women.”