The sports world seems to be full of nothing more than self-absorbed, me-first divas in recent years. Whether it be team sports, college, professional, men or women, selfish, bad behavior has turned off scores of fans. Recently, after the stunning disappointment of the US Womens National Soccer team at the World Cup, the boorish behavior displayed by some members of the team has soured sports fans even further.
With the new NFL season almost here, once again, the sports world will be focused on bad behavior, and almost certainly, there will yet again be some controversy regarding the anthem, flag, or some combination of the two.
However, it’s not as if the sports world doesn’t have feel-good stories and athletes that are actually solid role models worthy of our attention. Sometimes you just have to look around and pay attention to find them. Look no further than the MMA to find one of the most faithful, God-fearing athletes in any sport.
MMA fighter Colby Covington is one of the brightest stars in the sport, and like many athletes, he is somewhat superstitious. Many athletes have pre-game rituals, and many more even have certain rituals they go through before every at-bat, after scoring a touchdown, etc.
Covington recently talked about his rituals and what drives him to excellence. He said: “Pre-fight rituals are usually just kind of keeping my energy to myself, staying by myself, gathering my own thoughts, not being around anybody and just eating very clean, healthy foods to make sure that I can go out there and fight to my full potential.”
Covington also remade his body in an attempt to be the best, and he gave up alcohol cold turkey. He hasn’t drunk alcohol since college: “Zero, never, in the last 11 years, 12 years since college — I just, I quit cold turkey.”
While Covington certainly recognized there are particular health benefits to giving up alcohol, he had spiritual reasons as well. He said: “I said, I’m going to commit my life to fighting, you know, I’m fighting for a bigger purpose, not just myself. I’m fighting for the right. I’m fighting for law enforcement. I’m fighting for first responders and all the military out there, so, you know, I want to make sure that I don’t cheat them of what they deserve.”
Covington is also deeply religious. He grew up in a Baptist and Christian family, with his grandfather serving as a pastor, sharing that his faith journey has been nurtured since childhood. He openly refers to his “Lord and savior, Jesus Christ.” If anyone has paid attention to sports in recent years, then you know that isn’t a popular stance to take.
However, for Covington, he knows who is to thank and why he is where he is today: “I pray to God every night and I’m thankful. I know I’m very blessed, and I wouldn’t be here and have this platform if it wasn’t for God.”
All of sports needs more people like Colby Covington. People that aren’t afraid to give thanks to God Almighty for what they have and are humble enough to admit it.
Featured image screen grab from embedded YouTube video
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