Inspiring Athletes

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of athletes behaving badly. It bothered me 10 years ago but it really bothers me now that I have three boys including a seven-year old who loves to watch basketball, football, baseball and especially NASCAR.

Forget what Charles Barkley famously said back in 1993. Athletes ARE role models whether they like it or not. It’s their choice to either be positive role models or bad role models.

Over the past 20 years (dating back to my college days at The University of Tulsa), I’ve covered a lot of sports and interviewed a ton of athletes and coaches. After a while I’ve found myself drawn towards a remnant of sports figures who subscribe to the Christian faith–not just with words but by their actions.

Here are a few disclaimers for those who decide Inspiring Athletes is a blog worth following:

Disclaimer #1: Christian athletes aren’t perfect (no more than anyone else). So just because they get featured here doesn’t mean they haven’t or won’t make mistakes.

Disclaimer #2: This blog won’t exclusively follow only outspoken Christian athletes although that will be the primary focus. There might be some amazing stories that have nothing to do with faith but are inspiring nonetheless.

Disclaimer #3: If you’re one of those folks who gets offended when athletes thank God after a victory or credit Jesus for giving them the strength to make it through a tough competition or game, you probably won’t like this blog.

On that note, unfortunately, many Christian athletes have been either misunderstood (some think they’re saying God likes them better and helped them win) or have been a little misguided in their approach (some athletes actually think that God helped them win).

My belief is that God does bless those who honor Him. That doesn’t mean Christian athletes always win. And that certainly doesn’t mean one Christian winning against another Christian means God is showing preference. Most of the time, like Lance Berkman once told me, it’s just doing your best and seeing who’s better that day. God is more concerned about how athletes handle both success and failure. He wants to be glorified no matter what the outcome.

This is something I’ll probably discuss in more detail later because books have been written trying to discredit the Christian influence in professional and college sports. That’s a shame, but not surprising. Some athletes have been overzealous in their approach and it’s caused sportswriters and some fans to get turned off by the idea of athletes using their platform to share a Christian message.

But if you love hearing stories of athletes doing great things the right way and being a positive influence on fans, young athletes and their communities at large, Inspiring Athletes is definitely a blog you’ll want to check out every day. Some of the people you can count on hearing from in the near future include Albert Pujols, Kevin Durant, Bobby Labonte, Avery Johnson, Kyle Korver and Clayton Kershaw, just to name a few.

I’ll be posting at least five days a week (Monday through Friday) with occasional commentary when breaking news and special events demand attention. For the most part, here’s what you can expect:

• Monday Quarterback (what happened over the weekend in sports)

• Tuesday’s Hot Topic (commentary on the most pressing issues in sports)

• Wednesday’s World Changers (stories about athletes doing good things in the USA and abroad)

• Throwback Thursday (features and Q&A’s that will catch you up with sports legends of yesterday)

• Friday Feature (in-depth features and Q&A’s with some of the biggest names in sports)

There you have it. You’ve officially been invited to join me for Inspiring Athletes. Looking forward to sharing some great stories with you. Hope you like what you read. — cb

Join Inspiring Athletes tomorrow for a Q&A with NBA All-Star and scoring champion Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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