NBA / Sep 16, 2009 / 11:00 am

God & Basketball

Amar'e Stoudemire, Dime #14

Amar'e Stoudemire, Dime #14

Michael Jordan really could have walked onto the Hall of Fame stage and only said “Thank you” before walking away, and he still would’ve garnered headline news. John Stockton‘s speech was memorable because he showed more sense of humor in those 15-20 minutes than he did in 15-20 years in the NBA. Jerry Sloan‘s speech was notable for its resemblance to the way his teams play ball: a rough grind that drags on forever. And then C. Vivian Stringer simply commanded the stage: entertaining, inspiring, thoughtful, gracious and heartfelt.

Then there was David Robinson. His H.O.F. speech didn’t stand out as much as the others because, well, we already knew what we’d get from The Admiral. Always a better citizen than a basketball player, always a man of God first and foremost, he was predictably thankful and humble, and of course he talked about his faith.

Some think he may have talked about it too much. One of my boys texted me during Robinson’s speech: “Damn did DRob catch the Holy Ghost?” The following morning on DimeMag.com, one reader commented, “I didn’t realize that Robinson was so vocal with his Christianity. Dude seemed like a preacher at the end of his speech with his eyes closed and just laying it on us all.”

Whether it’s in long form, like Robinson’s speech, or a quick “I wanna give honor and glory to God” that an athlete drops post-game, publicly blending religion and sports I believe draws a gut reaction from all of us, though it’s been going on for so long that we don’t bother verbalizing it anymore. When somebody like David Robinson uses a public platform to talk about God at the same time he’s talking about sports, there is always a mixed reaction, even in the religious community. Some feel he’s elevating his faith as a duty and sharing his spiritual journey, and will applaud him for it. Other feel it’s trivializing God (or whatever deity you believe in) to imply God has anything to do with something as ultimately unimportant as sports.

David Robinson, SI '96

David Robinson, SI '96

Charles Barkley was the first athlete I remember actually saying “God wants us to win,” even if he was joking. (“I talked to him last night,” Barkley said before the ’93 Finals.) After that, others like Reggie White and Evander Holyfield took a more serious tone, either implying or declaring regularly that they succeeded because it was God’s want for them to succeed. (At least that’s how I read it back then.) And sometimes, it seemed, they were saying they succeeded because their team or themselves were closer to God than their opponent.

High school football was the first time I was personally exposed to crossing sports and religion. Before every game, our team doctor or one of the upperclassmen would lead a locker room prayer that was distinctly Christian. While I had a bit of a problem with going 100% Christian in a setting — a room full of young men still discovering themselves — where other faiths could be in practice, I wasn’t too bothered. During those times, we’d pray for health, strength, and the resolve to perform up to the best of our abilities. As a unit, we didn’t pray to win. But I know some players who did. And if we lost, I sometimes wondered if it affected those guys’ religious convictions at all.

The other day I was watching an ESPN Classic boxing match between Angel Manfredy — a walking contrast who often wore a Devil’s mask to the ring but also had the Virgin Mary and other religious tattoos on his body — and Courtney Burton, when one announcer brought up the two fighter’s respective faith. The other announcer relayed this old gym tale:

A fighter takes a knee to pray before a match. When he’s done, somebody in his corner asks, “Does that help?” The boxer responds, “Only if you can fight.”

What role, if any, do you believe God and religion plays in sports?

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  • James

    I think sports is a great platform to share your faith. Someone like David Robinson who I have high respect for is able to share his faith and influence a lot of people b/c of his success on the court. People listen to him and what he says b/c of his bball success. I think more athletes should give glory and thanks to God- b/c he is the one who gave them the ability and strength to play their sport. I think God plays a large role in sports.

  • Kermit the Washington

    The only “role” God plays in sports is having to hear his name dropped repeatedly by players, against his will. There’s no way he helped David Robinson get in the hall of fame, because it doesn’t accomplish ANYTHING even remotely important. It’s like me claiming God wants me to beat all my friends in 2K10 (which is going to happen anyway).

  • Abdul-Salaam

    For anybody that believes in an All Mighty God that has power over all things, the outcome of a sporting event or an individual performance must certainly come into that category. If someone thinks that his own power is independent from God’s authority, that person would have to take a different theological stand point. I do believe in a God that has power over all thing without a doubt, including the outcome of a basketball game. And when i play i do my very best and see the outcome as a result of destiny, and i don’t think that a negative outcome should affect anybody in a bad way if they are firmly rooted in their faith.

  • lasae

    I believe you need to stand up for what you believe in. Basketball is only a game your relationship with christ last forever. We put so much emphasis on sports when in the end nobody will ever remember what you did on the court. I’m so glad david was able to give thanks to god and show what got him to where he is now.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Patrick Cassidy

    I grew up going to Catholic school. Before every football and basketball game the team would always gather around the coach, say a Hail Mary, and ask for Our Lady of Victory to pray for us. Even as a kid in that setting, did I really think a higher power cared who won or lost a grade school football game? Not really, but it did feel like something that brought the team together right before heading into comeptition.

    That’s a far cry from what I saw from Matt Barkley the other night after USC beat Ohio State. Dude could barely answer the ESPN reporter’s questions because he was giving praise to God every three seconds. If that’s his thing, or Tim Tebow’s thing, or The Admiral’s thing – cool. Everyone’s entitled to believe what they want to believe, I just start to get uncomfortable when people use media/celebrity to push their beliefs/agendas on others.

    And I always laugh to myself when I see Matt Barkley-type stuff because I can’t help but be reminded of an old stand up clip of Norm MacDonald (I think it was him), where he says that just once he’d like to see it go the other way with an athlete after a big game. His punchline was the quarterback of the losing team being interviewed after the game saying, “Yeah, we were in the game … until Jesus made me fumble!”

  • MSkittle

    Total BS! Thank your height, athleticism, agility, and the Spurs.. Not G-d

  • Kermit the Washington

    @ Abdul-Salaam:

    Having power over all things, and USING that power over all things is different. Like, God has power over all the elements, but that doesn’t mean that every time it snows he directly is throwing little ice crystals all over the sky. He also has the power to choose when to use that power and when to let humans sort things (sports) out on their own because it doesn’t MATTER on the grand scale.

  • Kevin Carter

    There is no place for religion in sports, schools or anywhere other that places of worship(churches etc.) or in your private home. I’m an athiest, I do not believe in any current form of organised religion and I will bring my family up in that way. I have actually stopped supporting athletes who openly encourage worship of any religion.

    Your religion is private, keep it that way.

  • Abdul-Salaam

    @Kermit:

    I didn’t mean that he literally trows ice crystals all over the sky since that would have anthropomorphic implications. I do mean that he knows and decides where each flake will land. If you don’t think that i respect it 100 percent. But that would without a doubt take away from his power if it is all encompassing. And that was the stand point i was speaking from.

  • http://dimemag.com Dime Magazine

    Excellent read Austin. Religion plays a huge role in sports. I’ve read that a lot of players have a minister go to the arena before games. How many guys have religious tattoos on their body. I know Nate Robinson does. Even in Utah, BYU won’t play on a Sunday, and Larry Miller the owner of the Jazz never watched or attended a game on Sundays.

  • James

    @ MSkittle
    What do you mean total BS- who do you think created David Robinson and gave him his height, athletic ability and agility- God- off course he worked hard- but David has every right to thank God who blessed him- I dont even understand why we are having this conversation- this country was founded on Christian beliefs and principles- I think it is great that athletes stand up for the truth

  • Abdul-Salaam

    I would lie if i said i did’t get goose bumps when i found out Larry Johnson was muslim after he made that 4 point play againt the pacers.

  • control

    I don’t get someone thanking god for winning something they did themselves. Does that mean that if you lost, that god hates you or something? Thanking or blaming god for winning or losing something (like, it’s god’s will we lost, he has a plan for us, or, thanks be to god that we won!) is failing to take responsibility for your own part in the success or failure.

    Religion is something created by men to control weaker men (aka sheeple), having faith in a higher power is great, but a person’s relationship with what they believe in should be a personal thing, not something pushed onto everyone else and worn on your sleeve.

  • Michorizo

    I heard God was a helluva an athlete back in his time.And Boy could take a whoopin’…i don’t see any UFC fighters than can sustain a beating like him and not tap out….dude was a warrior at heart.

  • bobby stew

    God is very active in sports as in all events in life. I think we get caught up in who wins and loses too much though. God certainly teaches, blesses, and transforms people through sports as players, fans, coaches, and so on regardless of the score. Man places too much value on the score as if God only cares about the team with the most points. If David Robinson feels as if his religion enabled him to become the HOF player he is then he has every right to articulate that.

  • Jayo

    @ Patrick Cassidy

    Why do people have a problem when others in the media/sports world “push” their beliefs, but nobody complains about everything else they pimp? Its big news when Stephen Jackson pushes his desire for a trade. But its uncomfortable for others if he pushes his religion. Atheletes constantly push Nike, Gatorade, cars, etc. & that’s OK. But its not ok for them to tell you what inspired them to their greatnees? MJ had his gripes which he aired during his HOF speech that helped push him to be the best. So what’s wrong or uncomfortable w/ D-Rob or any athlete to give honor to God or their religion for pushing them to be the best?

  • Kermit the Washington

    @ Abdul-Salaam:

    I get what you’re saying…but that has such far-reaching implications, I just can’t get down with that. Like, if I were to get up from my desk right now, get in my car, drive recklessly at like 140mph down a residential street, and hit and kill a little 3 year old…what you’re saying is that God not only knew I would do that but CAUSED it?
    I guess the point I’m making is that just because God HAS the ability to do so, doesn’t mean he’s going to intervene in every situation and direct snow flakes and cars and basketballs.

  • JA

    And God injured The Admiral in the 96-97 season so that the Spurs could draft TD and then Robinson could win a chip before he retired.

    True story.

  • life-p

    ” Always proclaim the goodness of God, and when necessary use words…”

    This is a quote that exemplifies one of our most important callings as children of God. To live our livess in such a way that brings honor and glory to our Lord Jesus.

    When the opportunity presents itself for us to share our faith on a wider scale, we count it as favor from God and a blessing to be able to communicate God’s love for humanity and testify of the goodness of God in our lives.

    Everyone who walks with the Lord are at different stages in their walk and depending where they are, it could seem very strange to someone who’s not familiar with it.

    As Christians, it’s like and overwhelming fountain of joy welling up in our hearts thats compels us to speak about the love of God. It’s not scripted or mandatory (we all have free will). It’s not something we HAVE to do, but because of realizing Christ died for us, it’s what we WANT to do.

    Any yes, we can get excited and ramble on like bumbling idiots, but to us, it’s just being thankful.

  • Jayo

    For those who believe religion is private. I believe freedom of religion is an amendment right the same freedom of speech allows us to discuss this topic on this great website blog.

  • Steve A

    God impacts all aspects of our lives. My feeling is sports is no different than any other life lesson, win or lose its for our betterment. Whether we understand it at the time or not. It’d be nice however to hear someone say that even though they lost that God had it happen for a reason etc. Winning or losing has no impact on how close you are to God. What you take from either is the important part (although we think its the win or loss).

  • Abdul-Salaam

    @Kermit:
    I understand that we don’t agree on this point, and that’s ok with me. I personally don’t feel that it has far reaching implications, but it does touch on the topic of free will which is one that our rationale can’t really grasp. I don’t have a problem with that since humans are not 100 percent rational.
    But to clearify my stand point in accordance with your example. You would have the intention to do those things and God would either let u carry them out or not. Like a person intending suicide, either he does it or he fails, either God had decided for him do die at that moment or not.
    I didn’t mean to turn this into a thoelogical discourse, but if u really want to know more about that, ask for my email.

  • Heckler…formerly ‘Yallallreadyknow’

    jerry sloan’s speech was the worst ever!
    grrr. couldnt wait for that shit to be over!

  • chiaki

    “what motivates me is the gift, that God gave me, to do the things that i can do” – allen iverson

  • Abdul-Salaam

    Sorry, one more point Kermit.
    What i was trying to say is that if ”basketballs” was something that was not controlled by God, it would limit his Power. Which in turn would be a sort of imperfection on God’s part, which would be an imposibility for someone who believes in a God that is free from defects.

  • Kermit the Washington

    @ Abdul:

    I guess that’s the whole thing in a nutshell…I guess to ask “Does God intervene in sports” is kind of asking “Does God grant free will”. This probably isn’t the best forum for that discussion LOL

  • Kermit the Washington

    And I’m not saying it’s IMPOSSIBLE for God to direct basketballs, I’m just saying I don’t think he cares to.

  • Kobeef

    It is important to determine your values and to find a way to re-center your life.

    Religion is one option. So is science. So is reading Dime magazine. None are perfect options.

  • Mellmeister

    God gives us all that we have in this world… and taught us how to love it… things we share all around us is what made god wonderful… and i thank god for basketball… he’s the air you breathe when you’re gasping for air, he’s the will you have when you’re taking the winning shot… he’s the calm that you have when you’re trailing on the fourth quarter… he’s the courage you have when you know there’s no chance for you to win… But what i love about it is the fact that it doesn’t matter if you win or lose the game, it’s the feeling you have while you’re playing it, the smiles and laughters shared on the court is what god gave us and blessed us with to forget the problems we encounter on our daily lives.

    In The Name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Game…

  • Jacob

    Please do not disrespect G-d by spelling HIS name out…It is offensive

    Thank you

    And it is impossible to speculate on what G-d’s wishes are, so let us move one to another topic

  • http://myspace.com/40sand9s loc

    Im surprised at how “christiany” this whole conversation is,

    like “who do you think created David Robinson and gave him his height, athletic ability and agility”

    ummm, his parents??

    Lots of people sound like they have a conception of god or whatever you wish to call it, as a man with a white beard chillin on a cloud intervening in basketball games. That just seems odd to me. If there is a capital G-God, then he fucked up a lot of shit and worrying about David Robinson should be really far down on his list.

    Theres an old SNL skit where sally fields is praying to jesus for EVERYTHING, please jesus, don’t let this rice be sticky, please jesus, make the dog next door stop barking, please jesus, help David Robinson win a chhip before he dies, then Jesus (Phil Hartman) comes down, “ok lady, LISTEn, I don’t have all this time for you, yeah I haer you, but making your fruit loops unsoggy is NOT a priority!”

  • http://hornetshype.com ticktock6

    I’m interested in knowing how many arenas have a pregame prayer before EVERY game. I’m thinking either none or very, very few. Well, in New Orleans we do, probably because George Shinn is a well-known holy roller. And man, it *really* rubs me the wrong way. First of all, you have 18,000 people in that arena and they’re not all Christian. It shows a lack of understanding of the idea that we live in a diverse nation. Second, sometimes whatever minister they have up there actually does pray for a Hornets victory….. Seriously? SERIOUSLY? I mean, wow. That’s pretty presumptuous. It makes me really uncomfortable. And I don’t doubt there are others who it also makes really uncomfortable.

    I remember reading in some article about Ray Allen, they referred to his God-given shooting ability. And he went back at them with, “An insult. God could care less whether I can shoot a jump shot.”

    What he said.

  • lasae

    Again as christians we give glory to god for everything that he gives us good and bad. David did a great thing by giving glory to the maker of everything. To people who don’t have a relationship with the lord he should have just got up there and talked about basketball that is not what life is about we give glory to god at all times. We have so many athletes doing worldly things everyday and thanking themselves for everything god gave them, You saw Mike up there this man is being inducted to the HOF and all he could talk about was all the people that did him wrong in his life. Again David like alot of christians see the big picture life is more than a sport or getting some trophies when your time on earth is over you want to stand for the lord nobody else will remember you.

  • Abdul-Salaam

    @kermit:
    yeah, it’s really a free will vs. destiny discussion.

    @loc:
    I’m not at all arguing from a christian point of view, and i defintely don’t believe God is a man in the sky.

  • Steve A

    It’s interesting to hear people make the comments of why would God care if the basketball goes in the hoop or not etc. That’s looking at God’s reasoning as if he were using human standards. Meaning, we’d think he’d only be worried about the major events in the world. If God did create the World, he can do ANYTHING. Everything is used in life to shape us, no matter how big or small the event.

  • Kermit the Washington

    @ Steve A:

    I’m just trying to approach it from a biblical standpoint…I think God is concerned with the things he said he’s concerned about. “Games” was not mentioned.

  • CJ

    Good on you dime for presenting such a thought provoking subject. honestly based on previous forums i didn’t think there would have been a lot of depth to this discussion, but there are a lot of very intelligent comments going back and forth.

    as for my stance, religion is not a private matter for in the home. no matter what religion, for those who are devoutly religious, their faith is everything. it’s their highest calling. higher than being a hall of fame bball player. so for DRob to recognize his faith – which to him is the reason why he succeeded in ball – then why not declare that? People thank family, coaches, and micheal attributed his success to his competitive streak. why not give props to God if that’s what DRob believes?

    as for whether God has a stake on who wins or loses, even if he did, i definately don’t believe the outcome is based on which team has more Godly people. We live in a fallen world and good things and bad things happen to everybody – religious and non-religious. Further, to think that God blessed “good” people with w’s is too simple. winning basketball games isn’t everything and may not necessarily be a good thing at times. how many successful athletes with a crazy amount of career wins have messed up family lives or personal issues? sometimes failures in one areas leads to successes in another.

  • Sanssasin

    I have no issues with religion and sports. I think it shows humility, the athlete recognizing a greater power.

    I don’t think the athlete thinks God or whoever their Supreme Being is going to make them win, they are just respecting a higher power. I like that.

    I grew up in a small town and in high school who ever wanted to gathered with the coach in prayer. This was the case for football and basketball. Both different coaches.

    However it can get annoying when the athlete uses the stage as his moment to convert (ala Kurt Warner). If the athlete uses it as a platform to give praise then I have no issue, but if they use it as a stage to convert then it gets annoying. There is a line.

  • Sanssasin

    @37

    good write up.

  • karizmatic

    I think God plays a role and “cares” about all human activity whether it be something as trivial as sports or whatever. I think that we probably can’t understand how it plays out though, because we can’t see the big picture. How do we know ultimately how a win or loss might affect a person’s life? Maybe a loss was necessary in one arena so that there could be a bigger triumph somewhere else. I personally believe that God wants the best for all of us, but that doesn’t mean that if two teams play a game and both believe equally that both will win. Ultimately though “winning” may mean something completely different entirely.

  • control

    The most amusing thing about this discussion is how blind and closed people who believe that god is everything that is good and great are. If you base your beliefs on books that were created thousands of years ago, and were changed over and over through out the time period since then and now, it just seems kind of illogical.

    If there is a higher power, how could some random flunky known his wishes and write it down without there being safeguards in place to ensure that the information is passed to future generations without corruption? I know a lot of religious nuts don’t believe in evolution, but you can see evolution in the holy books of three major religions. Year after year, copy after copy, the information slightly changes as it is modified to fit current situations and times, to better relate with the people the books are meant for.

    I bet most of the people here who preach in god’s name, haven’t read the books fully, or studied them at all. It’s all just blind faith, with the key word there being blind.

  • Jacob

    Like I previously stated, it is IMPOSSIBLE to speculate on what G-d’s wishes are, so please let’s just drop the subject.

    And once again, please refrain from spelling out G-d’s name. It is offensive.

    Thank you

  • control

    Jacob

    Who is being offended by spelling out god’s name? You or something else? Why would they spell it out in the bible if it were offensive?

  • Sanssasin

    @40

    good write up.

  • Steve A

    @41
    The NKJV is 98.6% accurate as the orginal scriptures. When the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in the 1940′s, they contained scripture from the OT that was dated a couple hundred years before Christ. Those manuscripts were near identical to what we have today. So, to say everything has been changed is a very uninformed statement. But, the fact that it looks as if you’ve given this some though is good in itself.

  • Jacob

    In some jewish traditions, they do not spell out G-d’s name, so we have an obligation to no offend them

    Thank you for your understanding

  • control

    Steve A

    I have read about 5 different versions of the New Testament, about 3 different versions of the Old, and 2 different versions of the Koran.

    It’s the translations from their original languages into English (or whatever other language, since not many people are rocking Hebrew or Aramaic in their households right now) in which confusion is created. The version of the Koran that most Saudis have in their household is different from the version people in Iran read. Likewise with the bible and say christian evangelical preachers vs Eastern Orthodox ‘popes’ would use.

    They aren’t minor differences either, there are some pretty big differences, enough to cause wars in history between the two followings. In most cases the source is the one and the same, so if there aren’t these interpretations, then how are there these differences?

  • Abdul-Salaam

    @control:

    please show me any proof that the quran has been changed from its original form. I’m asuming that u include islam in the 3 major religions. U have to substantiate that type of claim.

  • Steve A

    The Catholic Bible has additional books that the Protestant Bible does not. As you may be aware, they felt certain books were inspired (thus there inclusion) and Protestants felt they were not. There are major alterations in text between a Johovah’s Witnesses Bible and any other “common” bible. As far as the differences, differences in interpretation don’t equate to differences in actual text. Many of the problems are due to interpretations.

  • Kermit the Washington

    @ Control:

    I don’t have any issues with what you’re saying…except that you think people have changed over the last thousands of years. I don’t think people have changed AT ALL.

  • control

    Abdul-Salaam

    How would you like me to present this proof?

    I guess the fact there are Sunni and Shiite followers of the same book would substantiate my claim (they definitely don’t read and interpret the same message from their books).

    Maybe the fact that in the Saudi version of the book, it mentions planes, tanks, and various types of modern machinery could do that too. I doubt they were mentioned in the original.

    The oldest found Koran (found in Sanaa, Yemen I believe) apparently is vastly different than the current versions…how that possible?

  • control

    Steve A

    Which one is correct though?

    The Dead Sea scrolls had several other gospels that aren’t included in any modern versions of the bible, so they didn’t even have the chance to be misinterpreted. Who made the choices to exclude them from any future versions? If they were all ‘inspired’ by god, then shouldn’t they ALL be included?

    All I’m saying, is that MEN made the choices on how to interpret them (and push them onto the general populace), based on their own needs at the time. MEN in power chose to exclude various writings that were just as valid at the time as the ones they didn’t exclude, because THEY had specific goals in mind.

  • adam

    The reason that there are two different sects of Islam is b/c of arguments over who should have suceeded the prophet Muhammad, not b/c of differences in the koran. Additionally, there are some supplementary/secondary texts (not part of the koran) and teachings that create some differences between the two.

    Also the Saudi version of the koran is only different in its English translation, not in its original Arabic form.

  • Steve A

    Just because other documents were found with pieces of scripture doesn’t mean they are “inspired”. There was a criteria that had to be met, if it wasn’t, it wasn’t considered. If one does believe the Bible is accurate, then what’s in there is what’s supposed to be. But causing strife between the different interpretations is another way for Satan to get at us and cast doubt in our minds.
    Saying Man decided what is in the Bible isn’t very accurate if you believe in God. God would put in us the necessity to pick the correct books. As to why not every bible is the same? Humans bicker over certain differences in interpretation therefore causing different versions. The message in most cases remains unchanged.
    I do see why you would come to those conclusions, but I feel differently.

  • e

    david robinson made the best speech and showed humility and of course gave GOD the glory first the reason why it isnt a bi deal because people of the world dont care about things like that they love the negativity and that it was all your hard work that put you at the top and not GOD however it will be sad to see on judgement day all the mockers and unbelievers GOD rightfully calls cowards

  • Abdul-Salaam

    @control:

    adam pretty much replied for me. Sunnis and Shiis read the same quran, it’s only a question of interpretation.
    A saudi quran would be no different from any other quran in it’s arabic. If your talking about translations it’s different. We don’t consider a translation a quran.
    Show me how the oldest copy of the quran is different in arabic than any quran u find in any mosque in the US or anywere else in the world.

  • Oscarisalakerfan

    I would have never thought that coming to a bball site would have landed with me learning about religion.

  • Taj

    Good write up…

    I was brought up in a Christian setting, went to Catholic elementary’s and High schools.. Prayed before class but never before a game as a team. I did that on my own, (usually for health, wisdom.. never so that I could score 40). But I never pushed my beliefs on anyone on the team nor did they ridicule me for what I was doing. It has nothing to do with what reliogion you are, but that you have faith. Faith that theres a higher power than us.. I have faith that a higher power put us here. Some big explosion didnt give me limbs, a heart and make me look like my father. What is that higher power, I have NO clue…

    If athletes have faith in that power then they should thank him for the blessings they have to do what they do at such a high level.. Height, strength, iron will, grit, lucky bounce, etc…

    More everyday people should do the same, because we are truly “blessed”..

  • Just a Fan

    With so many existing religions to choose from, in the end, someone’s going to regret wasting a significant portion of their life believing in a fallacy. Will it be yours?

  • Gnasche

    I’m not even a theist and I liked Robinson’s inclusion of his faith during the acceptance speech. It’s the core of who he is as a person, and it’s the right platform to show that (which is why I also liked Jordan’s speech). I don’t think Robinson meant to imply that God had a direct influence over his successes, only that God helped him become a man capable of such successes.

    I think the funniest inclusion of God in sports came on Monday Night Football. I think it was Dante Hall who returned a kickoff for a game-winning touchdown as time expired. They immediately put a mic in his face and he said, “I just want to thank God for my blockers”.

  • Jake

    Im not here to get into a religous argument. I’m a christian and I believe that God keeps us safe, and helps us to play to the best of our abilities. I’m not sure whether the Lord has anything to do with affecting games, but I believe God can do anything. I feel that he protects us when we play and allows us to do the best we can. Like I said, no debating, but I think faith certainly has a place in sports.

  • yoda

    well, thing is, no one has problem is its christian religion. some may mumble if its jewish, not that much. if some follower of islam starts talking about allah or islam in general, he could be labeled as terrorist supporter. as for scientology, well some would just call them crazy.

  • sh!tfaced

    A little faith is always good no matter what you do.

    Though when watching a game, I’ve seen fans take the religion at overkill, they pray and close their eyes while the game is in play, especially in a close game during crunch time, that they don’t even watch the actual game anymore. What the f…

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    I feel like it’s a different religion born every second. And if people want to praise a cockroach, rootbeer, the sun, allah or my personal favorite GOD, then they have that right.

    I have heard the saying if a man doesn’t stand for something then he will fall for anything, so I think it’s cool if players are praising GOD or even not standing for the Flag if they see fit cause it’s their right.

    I think it’s neat when players let there lights shine before men, so they can see that player’s good works and glorify the father in Heaven if that is their way of life.

    I most def. think GOD has a hand in all things small and large based on how he deems to intervene if necessary including things as trivial to some as sports.

    Sure you can thank GOD for the win and you can also thank GOD for the loss, cause either way if you lived to play before, in and after the game it’s a blessing in which I see no problem for thanks.

  • quest???

    I am an active catholic and my dad is a very active protestant. This has taught me to be somewhat tolerant of other peoples’ belief of God. I believe god blesses us with abilities and it is up to us to maximize our abilities and do the best we can to help.

  • A-Lid

    Believe in god, pray for his aid in a sports game, but you can’t blame god for you and your team losing. Never turn your back, and work harder.

  • Taj

    Atta boy, Poppi!! Couldnt have put it any better!

  • Taj

    Your Rockets are gonna need some “Divine intervention” this year though with Yao out! LOL!

  • http://twitter.com/TomGyorko TomGfromCanada

    God is just Dog spelled backward

  • http://sevendeu2u.wordpress.com/ Seven Duece

    If a guy is living it like he’s speaking it, then what’s wrong with him speaking on his spirituality and convictions. I just have a problem with cornball dudes (like Stephen Jackson) always taking photos in a prayer pose. Or DWade tithing all that money to church, while cheating on his wife.

  • http://Ne Ahmed

    I myself do belive god plays a major role in anyones success not for the simple fact that the individual just prays to god for succes but puts his faith that the higher power will be on his/her side to support them to become succesful in w/e he/she may want to succeed in. I also feel that at times people forget that a lot of the success one gains is by there own hard work and by putting your faith in god you will just add on a positive factor to your success and hard work. So god definately for me plays a huge role in the sucess of athletes and all human beings in different walks of life.

  • Sweet English

    Why don’t you give yourselves some credit people.

    Excuse my ignorance people but, 1. God isn’t real and 2. If he was, he wouldn’t give a flying fuck who could put a spherical piece of rubber through a metal hoop more than another person.

  • Geoff

    God is real, and those that believe should be proud. However, it is more than just a verbal declaration in the sporting arena. It is about your life. What if Christians are on both teams…who wins then?

  • Sweet English

    Two things for you all to think about aswell.

    1. I was reading the book of revelations last week (Cousins baptism, bored shitless, read book) and i read a short story about some dude (excuse my ignorance again) who slayed a ten headed monster of the sea. And this is the book of FACT that you all chose to believe is FACTUALY TRUE? Don’t get me wrong, feel free to read the bible and have faith and live a life based on a set of morals, but please dont tell me that as a rational human being you believe a man in the sky made us all out of dust?

    2. Thousands of years ago, Egyptians prayed to the god of the sun that the floating orange blob in the sky would rise every day. And it rose every day. So the Egyptians were all right, right? No. Since those days, with absouloutely no other proof either for or against the ancient egyptian religion, we all decided it was a load of shit, that there was actually just the one god and that actually hes been the one running shit since day 1. With absoloutely no proof to say otherwise. Except for a book, that a man wrote.

    Shit, i’m off to pray to dumbledore and then have a quick game of quidditch.

  • doc

    On the ballcourt.I am your fucking God.

  • tja

    faith in god is a consequence of men’s arrogance and because humans consider themselves too important.

    who made david robinson?
    evolution did, amen.

    i, however, think religion is important for society, for a collective living togehter. people need religion for their psyche, otherwise they’re weak and lost creatures, btw my father is teacher for religious education in school and i was raised in christian tradition, and am NOT against it, i just doubt the ultimate validity of all this, i think i’m in with your quidditch game…

  • Sweet English

    Religion is important to society? As much as i agree with the remainder of your statements, how can you believe this is true? Those who follow a religion would find any way to live there lives righteously. Religion is just an easy personification for those who want to live a moraly correct life. Those who preach hate however, have been brainwashed over there lives to truly belive in irrational hatred.

    Long story short. Religion does not create love nor happiness. For a faith to be possible, the love has to be there already. Religion DOES however manufacture hate. No man is born with the hatred in his mind to want to murder 2500 people in a plane. That kind of bile can only be passed from one human to another, and religion is simply an excuse.

    So ‘thank’ your God for me, next time your chatting. Good job big fella.

  • AB_40

    none

    I don’t like it. When Dwight Howard before the finals said god wants orlando to win. well something snapped inside of me and all the great things orlando had done in the playoffs were gone for me.

    and everyone can interpet the koran and the bible differently. the stories are so vague. and if you believe all the things that are in one book or another, litteraly they make no sense. and there are at least 5 different ways you can interpet every story.

    I live in a country where football(or soccer as y’all like to call it) is the number one sport and we have a kind of harsh but very real commentetor/ legend at the reviews of some games. He said if all 22 players hit a cross on their chest and prayed for the win there’d be a tie game, so it makes no sense.

  • O-man

    Good luck with your imaginary friend all. That

    jump shot I misssed last Thursday was not a metaphysical thing – just a bad jump shot.

  • O-man

    The world is full of wonderful and very real things for us all to believe in. It makes me sad that so many people prefer to have their life dictated by anachronistic tales of semi-fictional characters.

    America is a very diverse nation, at its constitutional foundation a secular democracy. I’m surprised that so many seem to prefer a theocracy, and I’m appalled by the fact that they won’t admit to that agenda.

    In the very unlikely event that the afterlife does exist, I’ll guarantee you one thing: The founding fathers are pissed off.

    Religion is alienating and divisive, it fuels hatred, it limits free thinking and innovation and it’s used to justify murder, discrimination and human rights violations every day.

    Sports on the other hand is inclusive and non-discriminating. On the court, it doesn’t matter how rich you are, what education you have and what religion or philosophy you subscribe too. It spans language, age and culture like nothing else.

    To me a basketball game is almost a microcosmos of how the world should be. Different roles, but a shared objective, equal opportunity, making sacrifices for each other in the struggle for a common cause. It’s a universal and beautiful thing. Religion is not compatible with this, so keep your religious agenda out of sports.

    You have your church and your private homes, worship whatever you want there.

    But the hardwood is for all, not only dellusional people.

  • http://www.myspace.com/simonhoops Simon Samuel

    See, my nickname is Gods Choice and I am glad that you guys asked this question. Sports have been around ever since they invented the sports along with religiion. People see that all the blessings that they receive during their time on this earth was not just given out of nowhere. Peoples faith really shows when it comes to shooting that last shot, or overcoming an injury that has now been healed over a period of time when there was a time of doubt when that athlete thought they wouldn’t play again. And for those who are close to God and are playing sports, can use this tool to show how he can tune each and everyone of us in through just sports. Its cool, but thats the way I see it. I will explain more later.

  • http://dimemag.com Pakman

    @ POPPI GEE Allah in Arabic=God in English the reason you hear Allah more is because there is no plural form in Arabic for God for ex:Gods in English is a real word but Allahs is not.

    Anyways there is only one version of the Quran and its always been and gonna be that way

    To answer the question religion does have a thing in sports because its you personally with whatever you worship. There is nothing wrong with being grateful and David Robinson thank God for letting him get so far.You should be thankful so that whatever satisfies continues