O.J. Atogwe on Committing his Life to Christ and the Violent Nature of Football (Gospel Light Minute #115)

Oshiomogho Atogwe
Oshiomogho Atogwe

He was drafted in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams and played with the team until 2010. In 2011, he played for the Washington Redskins. And in 2012, he played with the Philadelphia Eagles. He played college football at Stanford University. In 2007, he was the NFC Interceptions leader, and in 2008, he was awarded the MVP award by the St. Louis Rams.

Born in Canada with Nigerian heritage, he said that as a child, his parents taught him about Jesus and he understood the basic Christian holidays, but it wasn’t until he was a freshman at Stanford University that he came to know Jesus Christ personally and he chose to commit his life to serving him. He joined a group called Cardinal Life, a Christian athlete ministry for all the sports teams at Stanford, and through their activities he saw that there was a better way to live.

As the son-in-law of NFL coach and former Chicago Bears middle linebacker, Mike Singletary, he is known to deliver hard hits. When asked whether there was a conflict in aspiring to be a good Christian and the violence inherent in the game of football, he said, “As long as I’m playing by the rules I’m governed by, then God will be pleased with me. As long as I’m hitting them where I’m allowed to hit them, it’s fair game. Everybody agreed to the rules. If he is hurt, you pray for him. He’s in God’s hands. You don’t want to seriously harm anybody. I don’t’ believe that is in the heart of a Christian. We are here to love each other and build them up. God wouldn’t be OK with me trying to hurt someone because we are putting the sport above the lives of the people He created. But He has called us to play this game 100 percent without fear or hesitation to His glory, and as long as we do that within the rules, I believe that in His eyes He is pleased with what we are doing.

His name is O.J. Atogwe.

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