To get God out of football, the anti-religious crowd would need to get the football players out of football.
Rodgers’ words echoed back to Wilson’s statements after the Seahawks’ dramatic, come-from-behind victory over the Packers in January, which sent them to the Super Bowl. After that game, Wilson, who played terribly before leading his team’s comeback, credited God for the outcome. Referring to his four interceptions, Wilson said, “That’s God setting it up . . . to make it so dramatic, so rewarding, so special.” Rodgers, himself a devout believer, was slightly miffed by the remarks. “I don’t think God cares a whole lot about the outcome,” he said at the time. “He cares about the people involved, but I don’t think He’s a big football fan.”
Over at The Nation, sportswriter Dave Zirin has used the spat to applaud those who are “getting God out of football.” He claims that college and pro football are “religious spaces controlled by a very political strain of Christianity, one that demands that its adherents use their athletic platform to praise Jesus at every turn.” Zirin is not alone in his disgust for Christian expression in college and pro athletics. The trolls at the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) have lately made a habit of attacking college football teams’ chaplains, claiming their access to players violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment.