Editorial conflict over the latest Sports Illustrated

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We all know the big impact that faith plays in sports. Every game you watch, teams huddle together in prayer, point to the sky to honor God as a celebration and now athletes even kiss their biceps that are covered in faith-based tattoos.

The Super Bowl will be no different than any other Sunday with faith playing a large role.

Ray Lewis has been more vocal than ever on his connection with The Lord and football’s biggest stage gives a perfect opportunity for Lewis to continuing sharing his faith.

Sports Illustrated took advantage of this in their most recent issue’s cover. The cover shows Lewis with his shirt of in the water with his his hands together in the form of prayer. Above the photo, the headline reads: “Does God Care Who Wins The Super Bowl?”

Now the cover alone may be a concern to some, but not most. Ray Lewis is one of the most respected men in the history of football. My question is: “Why put Ray Lewis is an image as a holy man, putting him in a positive light, when the magazine’s biggest story is one a scandal involving him taking a banned substance?”

The cover makes sense. Putting a story that could kill Lewis’ reputation in an issue with this cover, makes no sense.

I have to believe this was no easy decision in an editorial meeting. The staff that puts together Sports Illustrated made a big decision by putting Lewis in one light, but then also putting him in a much darker light.

Having a connection with faith and sports is perfectly fine. Football and religion is connected more than any sport. The game is played on Sundays and many times football wins over faith in America. Times have definitely changed on faith-based result in football. Players such as Joe Namath and Jack Lambert were far from “Good Christians” in the public eye. Now, players all across football are huddling their teams together for prayer and are also heavily involved in FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes).

Running a story on Ray Lewis supposedly taking deer-antler spray to recover quicker from torn triceps, is also perfectly fine. The story is detailed and pertains solid investigative journalism.

Both the cover and story have no issues. The fact that they run together in the same issue creates editorial conflict.

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Categories: Sports

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