Penn State wrestler Aaron Brooks just took home his third individual wrestling title, but he is coming under fire for how he celebrated his victory.
Brooks defeated Northern Iowa’s Parker Keckeisen in the 184-pound finals, and immediately gave credit to God’s presence in his life for his run of success.
“It’s everything. Christ’s resurrection is everything,” Brooks said in a presser after the match. “Not just his life, his death and resurrection. You can only get that through Him. The Holy Spirit only through Him.”
That in and of itself is perfectly fine. But the second half of this quote caused some controversy, in which he claimed that experiencing the presence of God only comes through Jesus and through no other religious figure.
“No false prophets, no Muhammad or no one else. Only Jesus Christ himself,” Brooks added.
Naturally, many people found this to be a form of Islamophobia. While that is certainly an overreaction, one Twitter user also made the point that athletes speaking about religion and or politics is always unnecessary.
Tripple congrats. But it’s so cringe when someone has the spotlight and talks about religion/politics.— GRIDE (@cryptogride) March 19, 2023
We just wanted to hear about the takedowns man lol.
Is this true? At least part of it is. Few people enjoy watching an NBA game and seeing players care more about advocating for “social justice” than playing basketball. But does that mean Brooks crossed the line? He actually didn’t.
Brooks was saying that the only way that anyone else could experience what he does is through Jesus Christ. He's stating that no other belief system can help you attain it. (If you're scandalized by that, consider: “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”)
In an age of religious pluralism, where each religion (except true Christianity) is deemed as equally valuable, Brooks made a claim -- without being hateful -- that suggests differently. If people take exception to that, that is out of Brooks’ control.
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