Hats Off to You, Benjamin Watson

I refuse to add my uninformed, inherently biased, and white privileged two cents to the volumes of drivel that have flooded the internet in regard to the Michael Brown case and Ferguson, Missouri. For better and for worse the internet provides a platform for any and every gasbag smart enough to press a button. From that stage he or she is free to spew whatever ill-advised opinion he or she wishes, further polarizing the issue. I admit that I have done so myself on occasion. But not today. Instead I want to recognize the fact that every so often amid all the rubbish there shines something of value.

This is how I feel about the written comments of Benjamin Watson, professional football player, member of the New Orleans Saints, and an African American man, in regard to the controversy surrounding the Ferguson decision. More importantly this is how I feel about the words of a brother in Christ bold enough to calmly and succinctly speak light into a most dreadful darkness.

Ignore the fact that when the Southern Baptist Convention decided to share Watson’s thoughts from their own news website they did so under the incredulous headlineFrom a FOOTBALL Player?” as if to suggest that we should be surprised that muscle bound jocks are as capable as anyone else of thoughtful introspection in response to the news of the day.

Never mind that as a consequence of his Facebook post going viral Benjamin Watson was invited to an interview conducted by Brooke Baldwin on CNN. Asked to explain the source of his perspective Watson proceeded to share the good news of Jesus Christ live on a national broadcast. Suddenly CNN suspiciously lost the feed leading Baldwin to feign surprise and disappointment. “Whoop—just like that. We lost him,” said Baldwin. Well, shucks.

Nonetheless Watson has taken the high road throughout. He even used Twitter in order to go to the trouble of publicly thanking Baldwin herself for the opportunity to be interviewed. As far as I can tell the response to Watson’s prose has been overwhelmingly positive. But plenty have responded to Watson’s comments with further disdain at what they perceive to be his inappropriate insertion of religion into circumstances upon which it has no bearing. To these I likely would have sarcastically responded, “Really? How are those protests working out for you?” I probably would have had some snarky 140 or fewer characters comments for both the Southern Baptists and CNN. But apparently this is not how Benjamin Watson rolls. He seems to have made a concerted effort to rise above that temptation. Of course what would you expect from someone capable of such level headed expression of emotion, opinion, and faith…

...even if he is a football player?

See! I just cannot help myself. It grieves me that as a Christian all my rubbish often obscures the one thing of value that I know: the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is why to Benjamin Watson, tight end for the New Orleans Saints, I say in appreciation of his thoughtful and faithful words my hat is off to you sir.