Tag Archives: NFL

The NFL’s Worst Problem Yet: “T-Shirt Gate”

kNOw Jesus, kNOw Peace

Well, the NFL finally dropped the hammer. That behavior will never happen again. We can all rest easier knowing that players who wear t-shirts with Christian messages will be properly threatened and fined. Wait, what?

Seriously? With all the bad press that the NFL is getting for players accused of child abuse and wife-beating, you would think that they would be looking for some good role models. It might even make sense to not harass a guy wearing a shirt about knowing Jesus and His peace. But that is exactly what happened to Redskins quarterback, Robert Griffin, the other day.

Griffin was confronted by a uniform inspector for the NFL and told he had to flip his shirt inside out or be fined. Apparently, NFL policy does not allow non-Nike t-shirts with personal messages on them. Meanwhile other players were seen wearing non Nike t-shirts with personal (non-Christian) messages on them. The one that stood out as inappropriate to the inspector? It was a shirt that says, “kNOw Jesus, kNOw Peace.”

The shirt is written in a clever way that delivers two messages, both are messages which could really help the NFL out these days: 1) Know Jesus, Know Peace, 2) No Jesus, No Peace.

Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) and Lord of Peace (2 Thessalonians 3:16). All true peace comes through Him (Acts 10:36). Knowing Jesus leads to a “Peace that passes comprehension” (Philippians 4:7). Jesus offers an abundant life (John 10:10). Jesus teaches respect for women and children (ie., John 4; John 8; Luke 18:16-17). Jesus teaches selflessness (Mark 10:45). Jesus teaches lessons that the NFL desperately needs to hear.

Without Jesus, there can be no true peace in this lifetime. People will tell you how to find peace elsewhere, but they never lead to real peace (Jeremiah 8:11). Without Jesus, there simply is no peace in this world or the next (John 16:32-33).

A t-shirt may not answer the NFL’s problems, but the message on it can. Know Jesus and His peace today, because without Jesus, there is No Peace!


Say Nothing At All


If you have ever wondered why the NFL has a 10-minute “cool-down” rule in which reporters aren’t allowed to enter the locker room, comments after the NFC Championship game by Seahawk Cornerback Richard Sherman might be the answer. But how do you protect players from interviews on the field when the exuberance of having just won a spot in the Super Bowl is sinking in and the adrenaline is flowing?

In case you missed Sherman’s rant:

“When you try me with a sorry receiver like (the 49ers Michael) Crabtree, that’s the result you are going to get. Don’t you ever talk about me.”

Egotistical? Yes. Unkind? Absolutely. But does Sherman deserve the hateful bile that is being spewed at him? Sherman has been barraged with tweets and message boards filled with comments calling him a gorilla, an ape and a thug from the ghetto.

Of course, there is never an excuse for racial slurs. The hypocrisy is that his detractors are saying worse things about him than he said that night. The irony is that Sherman is not the stereotype they think. He was a straight “A” student in high school, he went to Stanford, and he writes an article for Sports Illustrated. He certainly isn’t a “gorilla, ape, or thug,” and in his calmer moments is known for his good nature and attitude.

We have all said things “in the heat of the moment” that we later regretted. We hope that people don’t judge us by those words, but in truth, those moments are sadly the ones we are probably remembered by the most.

Scripture repeatedly reminds us of the wisdom of watching our words. We know that “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble” (Proverbs 21:23). The Christian knows that “no corrupting talk” should come from our mouths, “but only such as is good for building up…that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29).

Sherman apologized for his rash remarks. And I hope he learned a lesson and that fans will offer him a little grace. For us, it is a great reminder of what Mom told us anyway… “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!” Turns out, that was pretty good advice.


Picked 39th

Anyone remember the childhood terror of getting picked last when team captains were picking players? Maybe you were always picked first, but for the rest of us, that was rarely the case. In the NFL, going in the 1st round can mean the difference of millions of dollars in guaranteed salary. Now imagine how you would feel if you had been hyped as a #1 pick but got picked 5th, 10th, or 39th!

Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened to Geno Smith, quarterback for West Virginia University. Due to few teams looking for quarterbacks early in the draft, Geno Smith ended up going 39th, even though his agents and the media had been hyping him as an early 1st round pick. Then, in what appeared to be ‘taking the ball and going home’, Smith said he wasn’t coming back for the 2nd round and fired his agents! Smith did come back for the  2nd round though, and was picked up by the Jets. I’m sure he will be well paid and have a great career…hopefully, with a bit more humility.

In Luke chapter 14, Jesus said, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place. But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you.”

We all get a little big for our britches every now and then. No one enjoys eating a slice of humble pie when passed over. But how do we react? Do you “honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10)? As Jesus said, “everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11).