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Forward motion

Kurt Warner (David Richard/AP)

Sports

Forward motion

Outspoken Christian and NFL quarterback Kurt Warner took an unlikely route to football’s Hall of Fame

Kurt Warner was to football what King David was to royalty: David went from shepherd to king, and Warner rose from lowly grocery clerk to superstar NFL quarterback. At 46-year-old Warner’s induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last month, he capped his acceptance speech by praising Christ: “His last moment was for me, mine is for Him. Thank you, Jesus!”

Arizona Republic columnist Dan Bickley connected worldview and performance, saying Warner “always believed he was serving a higher purpose, where success and failure were equal tests of his character. He was liberated from performance anxiety on the football field because he never believed he was serving himself.”

Cut by the Green Bay Packers in the summer of 1994 after going undrafted out of college, Warner returned to his native Iowa, where he worked out during the day and stocked grocery store shelves for $5.50 an hour at night.

Warner eventually played in the Arena Football League for three years and NFL Europe for a fourth before earning a shot with the St. Louis Rams in 1999. Thrust into a starting role when Trent Green went down with an injury during the preseason, Warner that season led the Rams to their only Super Bowl triumph.

He played for 11 more NFL seasons, including stints with the New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals. Warner appeared in three Super Bowls and won two NFL Most Valuable Player awards.

Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

Fisher (Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

Retirement goal

Nashville Predators forward Mike Fisher, perhaps the NHL’s most prominent Christian, announced last month his retirement after 17 seasons.

Fisher, 37, had the challenge of living out his faith in a hard-hitting sport in which, as hockey legend Gordie Howe said, “all players are bilingual. They know English and profanity.”

Fisher admittedly strayed early in his career but recommitted himself to Christ in his early 20s. He delivered vigorous body checks and occasionally scrapped with opponents but had a good reputation. He said: “Faith in Jesus gives you focus and persistence. You play with the confidence that God is in control.”

He finished with 276 goals and 309 assists and helped Nashville reach the Stanley Cup Final in his final season. Nashville coach Peter Laviolette called Fisher a person “you would want your kids growing up and following and watching what he says and what he does and how he deals with people in life, his work ethic, his habits. … He’s a good example every single day, whether he is on the ice or off the ice.” —R.H.

Elaine Thompson/AP

Force 10 Hoops (Elaine Thompson/AP)

Full court pressure

This summer the Seattle Storm of the WNBA became the first professional sports team to openly support abortion giant Planned Parenthood. The Storm’s all-female ownership group, Force 10 Hoops, donated $5 from every ticket sold for the July 18 game—nearly $42,000—to Planned Parenthood’s Northwest chapter.

The Storm also hosted a pro–Planned Parenthood rally outside KeyArena before the game, placed pink signs reading “I Stand With Planned Parenthood” on every seat so fans could hold them up during the nationally televised contest, and promoted an auction held during the game to benefit Planned Parenthood.

Four pro-life protesters stood behind the pregame rally and held up graphic photos of aborted babies. One protester, Kathleene Daly, asked, “Do they want to kill all of their future fans and players? That’s kind of the message it sends.”

The Storm’s biggest stars, Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart, appeared along with two of their teammates in a televised public service announcement promoting the game. If any Seattle Storm players opposed the promotion, they remained silent. —R.H.

Comments

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  • Laneygirl's picture
    Laneygirl
    Posted: Sat, 09/23/2017 10:35 am

    I always appreciate World Magazine's focus on sports stars who follow Christ. It stirs hope. On the other hand, the WNBA's Storm just as clearly lives out RO 1.32 for all to see.