Summer 2024

THE INCREASE: Tress Way — Faith in the Locker Room

A big percentage — probably a quarter — of the guys on our team are very outspoken Christ-followers, and a number of us are regularly attending Bible study, encouraging each other and praying for each other. It’s probably not far off from your typical office building where you have folks who want to do life their own way, and then others who have tasted the goodness of Christ and don’t want to do life any way contrary to that.

A lot of people see NFL players on ESPN and think they’ve got it all. “What an incredible life!” many think. But for a lot of these guys, there are a lot of broken areas in their lives, and when they come to talk to us about it, we are able to love on them. When things start to get tough, it’s awesome that they often come to those of us on the team who follow Christ. They want to identify with us, as if we have a general idea of how to handle these things because of our relationship with Christ. This is a testament to just how powerful God is!

Recently, I was sitting down, talking with one of my teammates, and life was just not going well for him. He wanted to ask how we did life, what our family was like, how things started for me with my relationship with Christ, and what life looks like as a professional athlete whose identity is found in Christ. We will talk with these guys, pray for these guys and love on them. It’s so awesome!

“Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the Gospel.” — Ephesians 6:19

It’s great that many of us are outspoken about our faith, but it’s inside the locker room where lives are changed, as those who are sick of this broken way of life reach out to us. If we can just be a bit of that light that shines and can turn them to Christ, that’s what it’s all about.

When it’s all said and done, and our short careers are over, how many lives and families will be changed just through the locker room? What an incredible story that would be!

— Tress Way, Washington Redskins punter