Does God Reward Faithful Athletes?

Coinciding with the Seattle Seahawks’ NFC Championship win on Sunday, aDuracell commercial featuring fullback Derrick Coleman, who is deaf, and his unlikely rise to become a pro-football player has gone viral. Coleman said during an interview with FOX Sports following the commercial’s release, “I always say that God blessed me.” According to PRRI’s January Religion & Politics Tracking Survey, 48 percent of Americans agree that God rewards athletes who have faith with good health and success, while 47 percent disagree.

There are significant divisions on this question by political ideology, with a majority (55 percent) of conservatives in agreement that God rewards athletes who have faith with good health and success compared to fewer moderates (45 percent) and liberals (38 percent) who agree. Religious affiliation also plays a role in determining opinions toward this issue. More than 6-in-10 minority Protestants (65 percent) and white evangelical Protestants (62 percent) agree that God rewards athletes who have faith, compared to half (50 percent) of Catholics, 44 percent of white mainline Protestants, and roughly 1-in-5 (22 percent) of the religiously unaffiliated who agree. By race and ethnicity, black Americans and Hispanic Americans are similarly likely to agree that God rewards athletes who have faith (63 percent and 62 percent, respectively), while only about 4-in-10 (41 percent) white Americans agree.

Will God reward Coleman and his Seahawks with a Super Bowl victory, or will the win go to the Denver Broncos? Let us know what you think in the comments!


  1. Mackenzie, I think a more important question is if he can reward faithful athletes, why doesn’t reward faithful humans who ask him to end human suffering? Is it because he can’t, won’t, doesn’t want to, doesn’t care, or because he simply doesn’t exists?

    Religion is poison!!

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