There may not be anything more special than receiving the holy sacrament of baptism. It is a deeply moving rite of passage, no matter the religion. Sidney Jones recently posted photos of himself getting baptized in a small ceremony in Texas at the Potter’s House of North Dallas.
It appeared to be a truly life-changing day for Jones, per all accounts. The Eagles cornerback looked overjoyed, smiling while a friend held his flowing wet locks of hair. Jones posted the message “Born again” on social media and attached the following Bible passage:
“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” -Romans 6:4 ESV
Many of Jones’ former and current teammates commented on the pictures, including Eagles cornerback Rasul Douglas and former Eagles receiver Bryce Treggs. It was a monumental day for a player who has suffered much on the field due to injury. Jones slipped to the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft due to concerns over a lingering ACL injury. He has only played in 10 games for the Eagles in two seasons after coming back from a torn ACL and nagging hamstring.
Of course, celebrating the momentous occasion publicly left open the possibility for internet trolling. One disturbed Eagles fan, using the handle @lareyoungman and calling himself RecentFuture, saw it as an opportunity to dig Jones for the way he plays on the football field. Not cool. He commented on Jones’ post with: “Good – maybe now you can cover opposing WR’s”
Again, not cool. The moral of the story is even good deeds sometimes go punished — at least on Twitter.
Eagles Players Share Deeply Religious Bond
The Eagles organization has long been a deeply religious team, going back to the days when Andy Reid was patrolling the sidelines. This team, led by their Bible-quoting quarterback Carson Wentz, has taken that faith to a new level. It isn’t that the entire team attends Bible studies or worship services — although many players do, including Wentz — it is more about how they bond together through their faith.
Longtime Philadelphia sportswriter Rob Maaddi explains the Eagles’ Christianity in his book “Birds of Pray.” In it, he delves into how the Eagles used their faith to help guide them on their miraculous Super Bowl run in 2017. The way Maadi describes it, religion was the glue that held that team together.
“The seeds for Philadelphia’s championship run in 2017 were planted because many players were united by their Christian faith, and they formed a strong brotherhood that helped them overcome adversity and tremendous odds,” Maadi writes, via Christianity Today.
Nick Foles has been another central figure in the faith discussion. The Super Bowl MVP has gone on record saying that he plans to become a pastor when his playing days are over. Foles was one of the team’s Bible study leaders and often shared devotionals in the locker room. Tight end Zach Ertz, safety Malcolm Jenkins and linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill have also been vocal about their faith. Left guard Stefen Wisniewski has stated that he’d like to become a pastor once he retires.
“I want to be a pastor in a high school,” Foles told reporters in 2018, via USA Today. “It’s on my heart. I took a leap of faith last year and signed up to take classes at seminary. I wanted to continue to learn and challenge my faith. It’s a challenge because you are writing papers that are biblically correct. You want to impact people’s hearts.”
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