NFL players leverage their visibility to fight human trafficking and pediatric cancer.
Super Bowl LII is today and football fans across the country will gather around their television screens to watch the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles battle it out at U.S. Bank Stadium. Nachos and wings in hand, one thing’s for sure: we’re in for quite a night.
Athletic events have a real knack for bringing people together—no really, I mean that. Even when the Philly and Pats fans in your home start going at it with each other, it’s the enthusiasm and mutual appreciation for the game that really matters… am I right?
Most spectacular of all is the platform players from these two teams have been given. For one night of the year (and many more in between), they’re able to capture the attention of Americans in cities across the country—111.3 million in total just last year, making it the most watched television event of 2017.
I can’t help but wonder: What are the implications of this kind of nationwide, worldwide fame? Moreover, how might one approach the stewarding of such a vast fortune and deeply influential public image?
For some in positions of power in the NFL and elsewhere, these questions are seldom even asked. Most are quick to use the gifts they’ve been given to self-satisfy and gratify. They turn to the usual remedies, using their resources to buy love, affirmation, approval, and most importantly, an escape from burdens heaped on by the demands of a success-obsessed culture.
But for others, the question matters, and so do the implications of the response. For players who claim to follow Christ, there is an understanding that the resources at their disposal do not belong to them—they really belong to God. What they choose to do with what they’ve ...