PlayersPrayers started with a passion for the intersection of sports and spirituality. Over the past 18 years we have shown professional athletes praying on football fields and in boxing rings. We have talked on where spirituality supported addiction recovery in athletes. We have celebrated the unity that the Olympic Movement and the Ecumenical Movement can foster. Starting today we will no longer elevate what we consider “performative Christianity”. We reported on the dangers of faith expressions in confined spaces or with power differentials in April, when Christians were singing on planes. We admit that over the past 18 years, we have celebrated public expressions of faith without enough consideration for their second hand effects. That ends now.

PlayersPrayers joins the dissent in the Supreme Court’s Kennedy v. Bremerton School District Decision.

Official-led prayer strikes at the core of our constitutional protections for the religious liberty of students and their parents, as embodied in both the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.


Henceforth, we will only report on the intersection of sports and spirituality where it respects persons of all faiths or no faith. Presentations of dominance by athletic or religious professionals will have no space here. We invite stories of vulnerability and spiritual struggle. We will share stories of transformation as long as they don’t proselytize. We continue to believe that sports and spirituality are good for the whole person. Our focus may shift, our volume of coverage may decrease but our dedication remains.

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Mark Wingfield serves as executive director and publisher of Baptist News Global. In his recent op-ed he analyzes spot-on:

There’s a common thread in two seemingly unrelated cases in the news right now: The Christians singing worship songs on a commercial airline flight and the former high school football coach in Washington State who insisted on holding public prayers on the 50-yard line after games. The common thread is performative Christianity that operates out of a place of assumed privilege.

Baptist News

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The 2022 Super Bowl matchup is set: The Bengals will face the Rams and both teams consider God to be in their side:

Cincinnati Tight End CJ Uzomah is sure that prayers are responsible for the Bengals’ AFC championship.

Los Angeles Wide Receiver Odell Beckham Jr thanks God for the Rams’ NFC championship.

What’s your take? Whose side is God on?

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Our colleagues at the Professional Football Writers of America have selected Tennessee’s Mike Vrabel as the 2021 NFL Coach of the Year. The 46 year old recounts, “I went to Catholic high schools and was raised Catholic, but I was always focused on athletics.” Here he is – at the top of his athletic career remembering his Catholic roots. In one word: CATHLETICS

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John Madden was football. He made the sport and his namesake video games what they are today. He died at age 85. There was a spiritual side to the loud commentator. As a coach Madden attended mass regularly. On the day of his death, the NFL family remembers him and even Our Lady Of Perpetual Help School mourns the loss of their famous graduate:

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The Packers will face the pandemic-ridden Browns on Christmas Day. Green Bay has a solid history for holiday successes. The Browns are down:

Miracles do happen, but the football gods would have to do some heavy lifting to make up for knocking out a third of the team with COVID-19 before an almost must-win game against an AFC opponent.

By Mary Kay Cabot,

In preparation for their Christmas Day game, the Cardinals are making charity headlines.

The opposing Colts put their effort in XMAS merch:

From the Colts team store

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In our first post we reviewed how White Faith Failed Colin Kaepernick. In that same episode, a white church lady treated the aspiring athlete as a rescue baby. In episode five Colin’s parents enjoy white bliss.
In the sixth and final episode, we close with a prayer. Colin’s baseball coach has been a staunch supporter of the greatest athlete their town has ever produced. But Colin wants to be a quarterback. That’s why coach invokes heavenly support: “Every night I pray, ‘please let this kid come to his senses.’” This white grownup like all white grownups in this Netflix series, executes power. This arm that is worth millions has a purpose and coach cannot allow this black teen to waste divine resources on the frivolities of his own will.

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In our first post on how White Faith Failed Colin Kaepernick, we reviewed his dad’s ignorant white faith during a tense traffic stop situation. In that same episode, a white church lady treated the aspiring athlete as a rescue baby. In episode five Colin’s parents set him up with a better (i.e. white) date for a school function. When he goes to the girl’s house to pick her up, four white parents are beaming for joy. And every wall in their living room is decorated with a giant cheesy cross -one on every wall that we see in this house. It’s a symbol of God on the side of white bliss.

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In our first post on how White Faith Failed Colin Kaepernick, we reviewed his dad’s ignorant white faith during a tense traffic stop situation. Also in episode three of the highly bingable Netflix miniseries, we find another white Christian person: Adoption lady. She wants to come across as caring. Initially, she was scared by the black teenager in the hotel lobby. After Colin’s dad claimed “ownership” of the teen, she relaxed, going into church mode. Her church sponsors an adoption program where white people can feel good about themselves for giving poor black kids from Africa a new home. She talks over Colin, only addressing his dad, disregarding his presence. Since she is used to having the white Christian American power position over black kids, she is sympathetic with the other good white person. This power dynamic plays out both in faith and sports.

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Colin in Black & White is a highly bingable Netflix miniseries that is part documentary and part growing up drama. It is the story of former QB Colin Kaepernick as he struggles through growing up as a black kid in a white world. Islands of black culture show up as sanctuaries in a largely dangerous white sea. Persons of faith are all white and not helpful for the struggling teenager with a big dream of becoming an NFL quarterback:

In Episode three, the viewers learn why Colin’s dad was always caught speeding but never got pulled over: He is white. In this episode, Colin gets to drive for the first time to one of his games. Dad in the passenger seat blesses himself with the sign of the cross as they pull out of the driveway. Sure enough, the black teenager gets pulled over and the cop reaches for his gun. Dad remains clueless as to why that happened. He represents ignorant white faith.

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