Athletes in Action
Athletes in Action (AIA) is an evangelical Christian sports ministry in the tradition of Muscular Christianity. Athletes in Action, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ, works with athletes and coaches to use the unique platform of sport to help people around the world with questions of faith. The most famous aspect of Athletes in Action is probably its touring basketball teams. These teams are generally composed of former star players in college basketball who for various reasons were unable to hold a position on a team at a professional level, but some just see basketball as a way to minister to others. All are professing evangelical Christians, as are their coaches. These teams are particularly visible in North America in November and early December as they play current college teams. In many instances, Athletes in Action give their testimony at halftime and offer those in the audience an opportunity to be saved by receiving Jesus Christ as Savior. Athletes in Action team has played as the US national team in the 1978 FIBA World Championship.[dead link]
Super Bowl Breakfast and the Bart Starr Award
Among the events sponsored by Athletes in Action is the NFL-sanctioned Super Bowl Breakfast which features the presentation of the Athletes in Action/Bart Starr Award "to honor the NFL player who best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community."
Nominees are gathered from the Public Relations Directors of each NFL team, the past winners of the Bart Starr Award, the Athletes in Action Pro Staff working with NFL teams and Bart Starr himself. Ballots are sent to each team and voting takes place at the same time as the Pro Bowl selections. The votes are tabulated and the winner is announced at the annual Super Bowl Breakfast, an NFL-sanctioned event hosted by Athletes in Action, the sports ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. The award, bearing the name of the Pro Football Hall of Famer, honors Starr’s lifelong commitment to serving as a positive role model to his family, teammates, and community.
- Dane S. Claussen (2000). The Promise Keepers: essays on masculinity and Christianity. McFarland & Company. Retrieved 1 August 2011. "In the twentieth century muscular Christianity has often employed the language of sports and athletics. The Men and Religion Forward Movement of 1911-12, for instance, used rallies and display ads in the sports sections of newspapers to appeal to men, and such groups as Athletes in Action and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes routinely uphold Christian athletes as paragons of masculine piety. Promise Keepers stands very much in this tradition of muscular Christianity."
- John Corrigan (2002). Business of the Heart: Religion and Emotion in the Nineteenth Century. University of California Press. Retrieved 1 August 2011. "The re-emergence of muscular Christianity came about through the activities of organizations such as Youth for Christ, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Athletes in Action, Pro Athletes Outreach, and eventually, the International Sports Coalition."
- Ellis Cashmore; Ernest Cashmore (2000). Sports Culture: an A-Z guide. Taylor & Francis. Retrieved 1 August 2011. "After the Second Worled War, muscular Christianity yielded to what some called "Christian muscularity," meaning that sports seemed to generate nearreligious emotion, fervor and zealotry. It is significant that the evangelist Billy Graham selected sports venues such as the Yankee and Wembley stadiums and the Los Angeles Coliseum for his early crusades. Athletes in Action was founded in 1966 as a decision of Graham's Campus Crusades for Christ: star athletes were invited to "share" their conversions publicly."
- 1978 USA Basketball
- Super Bowl Breakfast Official Site
- Bart Starr Award
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