Steelers' Minkah Fitzpatrick, Hall of Famer Mike Singletary honor Christ at Super Bowl Breakfast

Faith and football collide every year at the Super Bowl Breakfast, which is held the day before the game. Saturday marked the 36th time the event took place. It is hosted by Athletes in Action and features the presentation of the Bart Starr Award, given annually to a player who best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field, and in the community.

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This year’s recipient was Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. The four-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro received the award for his work supporting foster children through his faith-based Unshackled Foundation, and his contributions as a member of the Steelers Social Justice Committee.

Introduced by Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, Fitzpatrick began his speech by praying, then humbly gave glory to God.

“As I receive this award for my good character, my good relationship with the Lord, I just want everybody to know that I’m nothing but the product of sitting at the feet of Jesus,” he said. “I’m nothing but a product of a man who sits at the feet of Jesus, at the foot of the cross and lets Him mold his heart, mold his mind. I’m not a perfect man by any means, way, shape or form. You can ask my mom.”

Injuries limited Fitzpatrick to 10 games this season, easily the fewest of his career. He shared that not being able to play had him “feeling defeated” and led to some deep reflection during his quiet time with the Lord.

Fitzpatrick heard God telling him that a good man is a “dead man.” At first, he wasn’t sure what God was trying to teach him. But as he reflected on it more, he starting thinking about Jesus’ command to take up a cross daily. The six-year pro explained during his speech that Jesus took an instrument of torture and turned it into something beautiful through His death.

“A good man is a dead man,” Fitpatrick said. “A good man is a man who is willing to pick up his cross and follow Jesus. A good man is a man who’s willing to get up on that cross daily, sometimes multiple times throughout the day, pin his flesh to it and continue to follow Christ.”

Fitpatrick also shared that he is learning about the importance of empathy and being there for the people around him. He does not want football to get in the way of the most important relationships in his life.

“I’ve always prided myself on the fact that I’m always working on myself,” he said. “I’m always working on my relationships. I’m always working on being a better man, a better brother, a better son, a better football player. As I was sitting at His feet and just letting Him work on me, work on my heart, He revealed a lot to me. He revealed to me that I use this game and my craft at times as an excuse to not fulfill my duties as a brother, to not fulfill my duties as a son. To not be there for my people in my life.”

To be the type of person he wants to be, Fitzpatrick said it comes down to spending time with God.

“If you want to be a good man, if you want to be a great brother or a great son, a great husband, just sit at the foot of the cross. Sit in silence with Jesus. Sit in silence with God. Let Him mold you and work on your heart, and you’ll be everything that you want to be,” Fitzpatrick said.

After Fitpatrick finished his remarks, Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary took the stage to present the heart of the Gospel to the audience. He talked about his own experience at the Super Bowl in 1986 (Super Bowl XX) as a member of the Chicago Bears.

The Bears beat the New England Patriots just like Singletary expected. What he did not expect was the emptiness he felt after the game and the voice he heard telling him to forgive his father, who was abusive during his childhood. Singletary was not close to his father but called to offer forgiveness, and eventually had a face-to-face conversation. He wanted to prevent any of the baggage he was carrying from impacting how he conducted himself as a husband and father.

“The Lord was calling me to take it to the next level,” Singletary said. “The Lord was calling me to release this stuff that I had. And for me, it was unforgiveness. And I needed to lay that down at the altar because my family was about to start.”

Singletary ended with a prayer and invited everyone in the audience to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior.

“In a morning when you thought you were coming to hear about some athletes that won the Bart Starr Award, God is calling your name and asking you to receive the greatest award that you will ever receive,” he said. “And that is just His grace. His mercy. His love. His forgiveness. He receives you no matter what the evil one is telling you as I speak.”

>> Do you know Christ personally? Learn how you can commit your life to Him. <<

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