The NFL has been in the throes of a heated national debate on free speech, patriotism, and racial inequality ever since former 49er Colin Kaepernick first decided to take a bench and later kneel during the playing of the national anthem at football games.
Several teams have joined in with their own version of Kaepernick’s “protest” since then, particularly following President Trump’s inflammatory tweets in September expressing his belief that players should stand or be fired.
The Philadelphia Eagles have not so far had players kneeling during the official season, although a few have raised their fists and, following the Trump tweets, stood with their arms linked along with team management as a show of unity and solidarity.
But that’s not the only display of unity the team has shown recently, although the way they bond off the field doesn’t attract nearly as much attention as their actions on the field. Beyond linking arms during the anthem, many members of the Eagles are bonding in the brotherhood of Christ.
This week, wide receiver Marcus Johnson tweeted out a picture of his impromptu baptism, which took place in a hotel pool just before the team’s game against the North Carolina Panthers, which they would go on to win 28-23.
First time being Baptized! Corporate Worship is a beautiful thing!! Cleansed & Reborn in JESUS name!!📢🙏🏾 #WholeHeartedly pic.twitter.com/QtOj2FyRMu
— Marcus D. Johnson📢 (@Mojomdj) October 12, 2017
The Blaze reports that in the picture can be seen tight end Zach Ertz, offensive guard Stefen Wisniewski, tight end Trey Burton, linebacker Jordan Hicks, quarterback Carson Wentz, and backup quarterback Nick Foles.
These aren’t the only Eagle’s team members to publicly declare their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Wentz has also been quite bold in his love for the King.
“I always tell people, for example, if you love your job, you love your wife, you love what you do, you’re going to talk about it,” he told CSNPhilly. “Well, I love Jesus …”
It has been said the team also ends their practice huddles with “1-2-3-Jesus!” and many members of the team have shared their personal testimonies through a Bible devotional app.
With all the division and bickering surrounding NFL games, it truly is heartwarming to see such revered cultural figures openly declare their faith in the Lord. As Tim Tebow has shown is, it can be a risky move to be so open about one’s faith in the world of professional sports.
The mainstream media might not spend as much time obsessing over player’s faith as they do their decision to kneel or stand during the anthem, but the Body of Christ sees their boldness, and we pray that God can use their testimonies to bring the Gospel to more Americans!