Buffalo Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson dropped what would have been a game-winning touchdown pass in Sunday’s game against the Steelers, who eventually won. Rather than accepting responsibility and accountability for his failure, Johnson took to Twitter to blame…God.
His tweet shouted in indignation…
“I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!! AND THIS IS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW??? I’LL NEVER FORGET THIS!!!! EVER!!! THX THO…”
I suppose in an athletic culture where athletes routinely thank God for touchdowns, winning baskets and home runs, as if a Supreme Being would have nothing better to do than rig professional sports contests, it was inevitable that the reverse would come into fashion: blaming God for fumbles, air balls and strike outs. Johnson’s tweet is a classic example of how religion, in the hands of the egotistical and dim, can undermine ethics by convincing some people that doing the right thing is just part of a contractual transaction in which God looks out for them as long as they play by His rules. Thus God’s breached contractual obligations take the place of any personal sense of accountability for one’s failures and mistakes. Johnson met his end of the bargain, after all, and a capricious God made him drop the pass anyway. No wonder he’s ticked off!
What does God expect Johnson to learn? My guess would be that Johnson should learn that nobody, including Supreme Beings, is responsible for his on-field and of-field conduct but him, and that he needs to be accountable for his own actions. As a bonus, he might also learn that sending a Twitter post to God makes him look like an idiot, since it is highly unlikely that God needs to use social networking media. It also marks him as a whiny coward, since Johnson’s tweet is more likely to be a desperate attempt to duck the wrath of Buffalo fans by pointing the finger at the someone else, someone, in this case, being the Thunderer himself, while trying to impress everybody by revealing that he says his prayers like a good little wide receiver.
You lost the game, Steve, by dropping the pass. You lost our respect by blaming God for it.