Coleman, the son of Liberian immigrants, grew up singing in a church choir in Illinois. He became active in mission work and hopes to build schools in Africa when his football days are over. “There are so many smart, athletic, talented kids” on that continent, Coleman says. “Anybody from there can change the world… They just need opportunity.”
Super Bowl Breakfast Plants ‘a lot of seeds’
The day before the big game, Athletes in Action hosts its annual Super Bowl Breakfast, which director Terry Bortz describes as an awards ceremony combined with Gospel inspiration. The morning’s highlight is the presentation of the Athletes in Action/Bart Starr Award, given to a player for displaying integrity, character, and leadership on the field and off. This year’s honoree is New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, whose brother Peyton Manning received the award in 2015.
Attendees and speakers will include NFL notables such as Tony Dungy, Derrick Brooks, and Anthony Munoz. At the breakfast, which is open to the public, guests will hear faith testimonies, receive resources, and can indicate on a contact card if they committed their lives to Christ. Organizers plan to follow up and make sure attendees have connected with a faith community.
Response varies from year to year, Bortz tells Sports Spectrum, but she adds, “We know we’re planting a lot of seeds. We know that God is working in the people that are sitting in that room. Some will respond that day, and some will respond down the road. But it’s just a unique thing: using the platform of sports to change lives.”