As former NFL quarterback and Super Bowl champion Kurt Warner was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August, he concluded his speech with a final thank-you to the one who “has left the deepest mark and has become the cornerstone of my life.”
He went on to describe a moment early in his career after his Super Bowl XXXIV win when he had the opportunity to stand at a podium in front of millions of people and thank Jesus for everything he had done. “Now many felt I was thanking him for orchestrating a Super Bowl win, or making my passes fly straighter, or causing my opponents to make more mistakes,” he explained.
But Warner made clear that those people were wrong. What he was really thanking God for were the trials that had prepared him for that moment and that platform—for showing him that with God, the impossible becomes possible. He truly believed that God had chosen him for a once-in-a-lifetime role.
Warner accepted Christ at 25 years old and realized that he was meant for more than touchdown passes and winning football games. Since that time, he has been known for his faith in God and good deeds off the field, making him simultaneously beloved and shunned throughout his NFL career. Nevertheless, the athlete made sure to use what might be his final major platform to once again point people to Christ and bring glory to his Savior.
“Now, love it or hate it, that opening scene captured the imagination of the sports world, and the words became the heart of my story. The rest, as they say, is history. Bringing us to this: the famous last words. And the only place this extraordinary journey can end. His final moment was for me, mine is for him. Thank you, Jesus,” Warner concluded.
Warner played 12 seasons in the NFL and was a two-time MVP. Since retiring, he and his wife, Brenda, have continued serving others with the First Things First Foundation, a non-profit public charity dedicated to impacting lives by promoting Christian values.
Watch the full acceptance speech here.
Warner isn’t the only NFL player who loves Jesus. Derek Carr has been vocal about his faith and his desire to follow God. Tony Romo has spoken at his church’s youth group, while rookie Seth DeValve’s faith compels him to take a knee.