10 Of The Most Talked About Christians In Sports
Christians love to see fellow believers in professional sports; it gives them someone to cheer for, even when they don’t necessarily follow the sport or are a fan of the specific team the Christian athlete is on. And, with organizations like the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) more and more people get exposed to the variety of Christian athletes in a number of professional sports across the United States. So, here are ten of the most talked about Christians in sports today.
10. Russell Wilson
During the Superbowl excitement, Mark Driscoll, a prominent Pastor in Seattle, interviewed a handful of Christians on the Seahawks team. The video spread pretty quickly on Facebook, and many people realized that Russell Wilson is a Christian. Wilson, along with a couple teammates and coaches, stated that Jesus is better than anything…even winning the Superbowl! But, it seems God was on their side, since they won the game shortly thereafter!
9. Josh Hamilton
The Josh Hamilton story is quite an amazing one. Selected as the first overall pick in the 1999 MLB draft, Hamilton was considered one of the greatest prospects who ever showed up in the Majors. Unfortunately, drug addictions ruined his body and his ability to play the game. Shortly after being drafted, he had to leave the game of baseball altogether. However, Hamilton’s story is one of redemption. He accepted Christ into his life and completely changed his life around, even returning to baseball and becoming a dominant player in the Majors!
8. Jeremy Lin
Around the time Tebow-mania was happening, a new Christian athlete emerged in the spotlight—linsanity! Jeremy Lin is the Tim Tebow of the NBA, although with more overall success in his respective sport so far. To make his success story even better, he was an undrafted pick out of Harvard University!
7. Kurt Warner
Despite not immediately playing for the NFL, Warner was able to solidify a spot on a roster and eventually made a huge splash during his career. Stories like his inspire millions of people; he went from stocking grocery shelves to becoming a potential Hall of Fame quarterback. Most importantly, however, he uses his platform to talk about his Christian faith and his conversion in the late 90’s.
6. Mariano Rivera
Although recently retired from the New York Yankees, longtime closer Mariano Rivera was and is revered by all baseball fans. During his career on the playing field, he was known as one of the most respectful people anyone could ever meet, yet he also was outspoken about his Christian faith. Although many Christian athletes fail to live up to the faith they claim to hold, Mariano Rivera left a lasting legacy in the MLB that will be remembered for years, and not just due to the fact that he was a dominant pitcher.
5. Shaun Alexander
Making his fame in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks, Alexander often pointed to the sky and acknowledged God every time he scored a touchdown—which was a lot. In his memoir and in various interviews, he explains that he does that because he never wants to forget where his gifts and abilities came from.
4. Michael Waltrip
In NASCAR, Waltrip is known as one of the most outspoken Christians around. He is heavily involved in NASCAR ministries that promote the gospel and seeks to save souls, while talking openly and freely of the reason why he races and speaks about Jesus.
3. Tony Dungy
As a coach with Peyton Manning on his team, Dungy had a lot of success with the Indianapolis Colts. Without a doubt, he could have continued his coaching career, but opted out of returning as a coach in order to pursue more ministry. Since then, he has written a number of books and devotionals in order to encourage Christians and reach out to non-believers. Although he appears as a sports analyst at times, it is clear he is actively engaged in numerous ministries.
2. Joe Gibbs
Another retired NFL coach, Joe Gibbs was very outspoken as a Christian. Now, he owns his own NASCAR team and is still very outspoken about his faith. He has a lot of success coaching and is certainly revered around the NFL.
1. Tim Tebow
Didn’t see this coming? Obviously, Tebow has been one of the most talked about Christians in sports for the last handful of years. In fact, he has even been a huge NFL story, even when he is not currently on a team! He is hoping to still make a team, but even if he doesn’t, Tebow-mania will be around for a long time.
All of these Christian athletes have a unique platform to preach the gospel to a wide variety of people. They are highly esteemed by the world, and they seek to use that as a way to proclaim the gospel in any way they can. As the years go by, it will be fun to see what other Christian athletes emerge on the scene!