A story was circulating on Facebook (and elsewhere) earlier this week about how yet-again-injured Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III was forced to turn inside out a shirt that read:
“Know Jesus, Know Peace.”
Griffin came into the room for the press conference wearing the shirt. But before speaking he turned the shirt inside out so that the message could not be seen.
Richmond Times Dispatch sports reporter Michael Phillips tweeted:
Predictably, the Interwebz went nutz.
If we’re to believe Facebook comments, RGIII was being persecuted and forced to hide his faith.
RGIII is “not a real Christian” because he was embarrassed to proclaim his love for Jesus.
I am not making that up.
According to J.P. Finlay at CNS Washington what happened with the shirt really isn’t clear.
What we know is that NFL bylaws state that players are not allowed to wear clothing that make personal statements on game days. The first reports out indicate that this was why Griffin was told to turn the shirt around.
The other reason given was that the shirt being worn by Griffin was not a Nike product.
At the same time, Ryan Kerrigan was not wearing a Nike shirt, but was wearing a shirt made by Five Four Clothing. Kerrigan was not told to flip his shirt around.
The NFL has a corporate deal with Nike, and in the past Griffin has been fined for wearing Adidas gear on game days.
When reached by phone, a Redskins spokesperson indicated Robert Griffin III flipped his t-shirt inside out by choice, and was not asked to do so by an NFL representative. Due to the personal message bylaw cited above, Griffin could have faced a fine by the NFL, and chose to avoid the situation, the Redskins spokesperson indicated.
Regardless of the reason for the shirt being turned around, Griffin was not being persecuted for his faith, nor was he denying his faith.
There is no question that there is a growing hostility toward Christianity in this country. Believers who study Scripture will actually know that we are to expect this.
But, when followers of Christ in other countries are being forced to leave their homes, are being tortured, are being murdered, are we really going to get all worked up about a t-shirt?
Frankly folks, a lot of American “Christianity” deserves to be mocked.
There may come a time when Christians actually are persecuted in this country.
This is not that day.