These days, we know pretty much everything about our favorite athletes. The internet has opened our eyes and given us access to much more private and personal information about our favorite stars. Athletes are the rockstars of tomorrow and are in the public eye these days more than they ever have been in the past.
But, you might not be too aware of the religious views of some of the world’s top athletes. There are a lot of athletes out there who have religious beliefs, which could come as a potential surprise. Religion and faith can play a big role in the lives of many of our ideal performers. We have done some research and found these 5 hugely famous athletes that you had no idea were Mormons.
Man mountain Ezekiel Ansah is a defensive end for the Detroit Lions. He recorded the highest number of sacks from any rookie in the league in his debut season. Ghanaian-born Ezekiel is one of the most feared and respected players in the NFL. But, despite outward appearances, and his fearsome stats, this gentle giant is actually a Mormon. He grew up as a keen soccer and basketball player, and this attracted attention from missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints. This led to Ansah joining the church and converting to Mormonism and was baptized at the age of 18.
Jacoby had been a long-time favorite of Boston Red Sox fans after he joined the baseball franchise in 2007. He played for the Sox for around 6 years before joining their great rivals the New York Yankees in 2014. Ellsbury is considered one of the finest center fielders in the game, and has won 2 World Series’ and reached an All-Star Game as well. Not many people know, but Jacoby was actually raised as a Mormon, but he doesn’t practice the faith as much as his parents do who are strict Mormons.
Known affectionately as The Beard by Pittsburgh Steelers fans, Brett Keisel is one of the most recognizable players in the NFL. This player was an essential cog in the wheel of the Pittsburgh Steelers defense and played all 12 seasons of his career with the former Super Bowl champions. During his time at The Steelers he picked up two Super Bowl rings, and a Pro Bowl, and he totaled an impressive 30 sacks. Keisel is also a practicing Mormon and an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints.
One of the greatest tight ends of all time, Todd Christensen was a legend of the game. He attended BYU and had a pretty modest college career. However, his professional career really took off. He had a short spell with the New York Giants, before joining Oakland Raiders, where he spent almost 10 years. He made 5 Pro Bowl teams in his career and won 2 Super Bowls. Christensen was a Mormon up until his tragic death in 2013, and his faith played a big role in his life and career.
Halladay was something of a prodigy as a young player, and he went straight into professional baseball right out of high school! Signing for Toronto Blue Jays in 1995, Halladay made his major league debut in 1998. By 2002 he was a big star and made the All-Star Game a staggering 8 times in 9 years. Nicknamed Doc, Halladay is one of the finest pitchers to grace the MLB and grew up Mormon. He and his wife are active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
These are just a few of the big name athletes who have been raised as Mormon or are practicing Mormon. These five guys are all successful and well-known athletes, and their religion has played a big role in their lives and careers.