". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


NBC Censors NFL Rookie Who Praised Jesus Christ in Postgame Interview after Victory

January 18, 2024

After Saturday’s historic win, Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud wanted to make sure God got the glory first. The NFL’s Rookie of the Year finalist led the team to victory and was immediately interviewed by NBC to talk about the team’s trip to the playoffs. “First and foremost,” Stroud said, “I just want to give all glory to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Stroud is well known for his athleticism, but he’s also known for his deep Christian faith in real life and on social media. As journalist Bobby Burack wrote, “Stroud is rightfully front and center of the sports conversation. And so is his faith.” In a world of intense politicization, Stroud is determined to identify unabashedly as a follower of Christ. But not without censorship from the media.

The “Sunday Night Football on NBC” account posted the interview on X, but the line where the football player praised God was edited out. They captioned the post saying, “CJ Stroud has a lot of love for his city.” But those who knew the player was proclaiming his love for God are calling out the network for removing the comment about Jesus. Lenny Dykstra, former New York Mets star, said, “I have a feeling there are going to be a lot more post-postseason win interviews with him that the dinosaur media is going to have to edit as well.”

Citizen Free Press criticized the decision. “It’s disconcerting to realize NBC is actively censoring a player praising Jesus after a massive win. Would NBC have censored his speech if he praised transgenders or Palestinians?” Another user said, “These are the same people who have no problem showing BLM propaganda all over their show. Because that’s OK and acceptable. Mentioning Jesus Christ? That’s considered hate speech.” And many other fans continue to express their disapproval of NBC’s tampering.

But Stroud has made it clear that his faith comes first, and he continues to reiterate that, no matter how the media reacts. “It’s what’s kept me grounded through my season,” he said earlier last year. “Football has a lot of ups and downs, it has a lot of twists and turns, but at the end of the day, it’s all about your foundation. And something that’s set my foundation is my faith.”

Joseph Backholm, senior fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement at Family Research Council, shared with The Washington Stand that “it’s not unusual for a player to thank God publicly during comments after a game,” but what we’re seeing is that the “priests of the sexual revolution are uniquely triggered by the name of Jesus.”

He continued, “They’re more inclined to tolerate someone who thanks God because it’s vague. The name of Jesus is not vague. It’s likely C.J. Stroud would have been tolerated, if not celebrated, for letting his authentic self be seen if he had thanked ‘Mother God’ or the ‘divine light within.’ But his words glorifying Jesus obviously triggered someone” at NBC.

Backholm explained that Stroud is an example for other believers of how Christians should live. “It’s clear he has made a conscious decision to deflect praise from himself to Jesus, which is good for his soul,” he said. “But it’s also encouraging to everyone watching to see people speaking publicly and favorably about Jesus in a context many would see as secular.”

As he pointed out, “If this happens often, it becomes normal and easy to do. If it happens rarely or never, it becomes strange or difficult to do.” So, standing boldly in faith as Stroud uses his platform for is significant “because it makes it easier for other people to do likewise.”

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.