Tag Archives: Football

NIKE and My Thoughts

The following is social commentary which some may find disturbing. Proceed at your own risk, but be warned.

By now I”m sure most of you are aware of the new NIKE ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick. How could you have missed it?

If you know about it, I’m sure you’ve already established an opinion, and that opinion is probably based on what you already thought about Colin Kaepernick’s taking a knee during the playing of our national anthem.

The whole NIKE controversy centers around something Kaepernick says: “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.” In response, besides people burning their NIKE shoes and gear, folks on the internet have created alternative graphics featuring the photos of other people, such as Chris Kyle and Pat Tillman.

As stated in a CBS News story, the message of the ad campaign is pretty simple: “The spot’s universal theme is about athletes pushing for bigger dreams. It features young athletes who compete amid various challenges, touching on issues of gender, disabilities and weight loss, among others.”

And I guess that’s a noble theme because, after all, there’s nothing wrong with praising people for pushing through tough challenges to reach their dreams. But what does that have to do with believing in something so much you might even have to sacrifice everything?

And what is “everything,” anyway?

Essentially, what did Colin Kaepernick actually give up?

But let’s stop for a moment and move this in a different direction. What about the whole reason for kneeling in the first place? Are all police corrupt and intent on murdering anyone of color? Not all cops are white, you know. Heck, just this week I had a wonderful conversation with a black deputy who works with kids at a local high school. Is he the reason people are taking a knee?

Oh, I know, it’s all the white cops who are killing black men, right? Yeah, that’s it. That’s why our country is so bad. That’s why so many are taking a stand by not standing for the National Anthem.

But what about Planned Parenthood? What did the founder, Margaret Sanger, believe about blacks? What color of babies die most often in their clinics?

And the police are the problem?

I can think of a couple hundred officers who died while doing something they believed in on September 11, 2001. They sacrificed everything for total strangers. And, honestly, I could introduce you to scores of officers and deputies in my own county where I serve as a police chaplain who put their lives on the line every day for something they believe in.

You know, every time I hear the arguments for kneeling, specifically the race-related ones, I can’t help but remember those African-American heroes who flew in the Red Tail Squadron, those Tuskegee airmen who battled FAR more racism and bigotry to become some of the best pilots who ever defended this country during wartime. To loosely quote what I heard one of them say not too long ago in response to the whole kneeling thing,

“You have that right, but only because of those who fought and died to defend it. We may have our problems, but there’s no better country in the world. If you think it’s better somewhere else, you’re free to go there – which in its self is a freedom many don’t have.”

The Tuskegee Airmen didn’t take a knee; they took to the skies for the country the loved.

Yet, after all I’ve written, what if every policeman was corrupt? What if Colin Kaepernick is the best example of bravery?

There’s still someone who we’d all be better off emulating.

Instead of a football helmet and millions in lost contracts, He wore a crown of thorns and had a stone for a pillow. He could have been king of the world, but they called Him “King of the Jews” and crucified him on a real cross, not just one in social media.

And yet He said, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s” (Luke 20:25).

He also said:

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. – Matthew 5:44-45

Look, NIKE can use whomever they want in their ad campaigns. But I have a strong suspicion that if we would only choose some better heroes – like ones who actually DID sacrifice everything for what they believed (did anyone say Dietrich Bonhoeffer?) –  commercials like the one with Kaepernick wouldn’t even be an issue.

Maybe a better observation would be this: Make sure what you believe in is worth sacrificing everything.


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Filed under current events


Dear Alabama,

My heart breaks for you. Hot, painful tears stream down my cheeks. Every time I breath through my nose I think of how sore a sobbing elephant’s trunk must feel. Oh, and how many trees had to die to make the piles of tissue needed to capture the snot? 

If you need a shoulder, dear Tide fan, I’m here for you. I know you’re crushed. Just give me a call if you need to talk; I’ll be happy to listen. 

Just make sure you call – don’t FaceTime me – I don’t want you to see my smile 🙂

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Filed under Depression, Humor

I Support Coach Joe Kennedy

This week a high school football coach in Washington was fired from his job,

  • not because he molested a student;
  • not because he stole from the locker room;
  • not because he posted offensive language on the school’s website;
  • not because he exposed himself to other teachers while in the teacher’s lounge;
  • not because he was encouraging excessive violence on the field;
  • not because he was conspiring with terrorists;
  • not because he threatened the coach of another team;
  • not because he tried to contaminate the food in the concession stand;
  • not because he was caught cheating;
  • not because he was caught paying students to play;
  • not because he cursed a player’s parents during a game.

No, the reason he was fired was because he dared to kneel and silently pray on the 50 yard line of the ball field AFTER the game. The audacity!

Congress begins with prayer, and the most liberal president we’ve ever had attends national prayer breakfasts, but a high school football coach can’t silently pray on his own time for fear that it might send the message that a public school endorses religion? Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Not.

Now, the school where Coach Joe Kennedy USED to work, Bremerton High School, DID give him an option: he could pray silently alone inside the school, in a room chosen by the administration, just not on the field.

Senator Lankford of Colorado stood on the senate floor and said the following: “Government doesn’t have the authority to confine your faith to the location of government’s choosing.” However, this is where we are heading if people of ALL faiths don’t stand up and speak out.

This is STILL America. We are STILL unique in the world with regard to religious freedom. Don’t let those who want to prohibit the expression of faith in public – our Constitutionally-affirmed right – get away with this.

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Filed under America, Christian Unity, Culture Wars, current events, Prayer

Football Crazy

(Guest blog by David Welford)

My seventeen-year old daughter Beth is a football (soccer) player. Having three older brothers probably prompted Beth’s interest in football, but by the time she was ten we were being told by her coaches that she had a natural talent for the game. When the time came to leave primary school she was presented with a cup by the head-teacher, who observed that every break when he looked out of the window he would always see Beth playing football with the boys. He also commented that she was a better player than any of the boys!

Footie 02Beth eventually joined a girl’s team. They became the most successful female football team of their age group in our county. The highlight for me was watching them play in three cup finals in a row at the ground of Hereford United Football Club. I can honestly say that this was some of the best football I have ever seen. The things I respect most, apart from the skill of the players, include their incredible commitment both to training and playing, and their determination to win. Girls don’t dive and claim they have been fouled like the boys. They play hard and even when injured resist advice from the coach to come off the pitch. The only problem is that as they get older some lose interest distracted by the likes of boyfriends, and worldly pleasures away from the football pitch.

Edgar Street copyWatching my daughter play a county game the other week made me think about the cost to the girls of being there. The years of regular training, occasional injuries, the travelling to matches, and the disappointment at games lost. This has to be balanced against the elation of games won, and of receiving medals as champions. There are definite parallels with the Christian life. There is always a cost to following Jesus Christ, which is far greater in some countries than it is in North America or most of Europe. Regardless of the cost commitment is vital. There may be disappointments and setbacks during the journey but there is a prize waiting for those who persevere to the end.

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:7-14 NIV)


Filed under Christian Maturity, Guest Posts, Struggles and Trials