Josh Rosen First NFL Atheist

By Eric Chan from Hollywood, United States (DSC_2057) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

NFL player Josh Rosen plays in an overwhelmingly Christian environment.

Josh Rosen has caused a few problems in the NFL scouting combine earlier this year. A few NFL commentators believe him to be unfit to be a franchise player. The reason? The UCLA quarterback is an outspoken atheist. He is an intellectual and articulate player sufficiently confident to confess that he feels nervous prior to any big game.

Peter King, the NFL insider who writes a column regularly for the Monday Morning Quarterback, wrote that there exists a lot of concerns Rosen does not love football as much as he ideally should. The list of explanations for such reasoning is laughable: he is not popular among his teammates, and he is rich. He is also known to be anti-Trump in his political leanings. It does not help his cause that he does not surrender to authority.

The problem is that a majority of players on NFL teams are openly Christian. This stops them from appreciating the beauty of others' viewpoints. When Rosen was asked how he manages to survive in such an environment, especially when he gets an invitation to visit a Christian event, the player said such events do not bother him. He said he stays there and continues to be respectful of others.

Rosen's father is Jewish and his mother a Quaker Christian. He declared himself an atheist while studying in a Catholic high school. When Jason Negro, the school's football coach, was asked by a media interviewer about whether Jason's beliefs impact his standing in the team, the coach replied, “We certainly welcome it. We’re not just a school for Catholic boys,” Negro said. “We are a Catholic school for all boys. Everyone’s common theme here is just be a good person. When you leave here do you represent your school and yourself well?.”

Jamele Hill, a writer for The Undefeated criticized the NFL earlier this year, saying the NFL itself has encouraged its players to be inauthentic and fake for profits. She said the league is perfectly okay with discouraging any show of personality and they dislike critical thinkers. She also claimed they eject players engaged in any kind of social activism which goes against its own idea of charity.

For Rosen, he has started to understand how black sportspersons feel all the time. Michael Lombardi, the former general manager of the NFL, got into a firestorm when he said he is doubtful about Rosen's love for the game as the player likes humanitarian work a little too much he doesn’t know “where his values really lie.”

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