Benjamin Watson Preaches Gospel on CNN: 'Where Will You Spend Eternity?'

Michael Foust | Contributor | Thursday, January 5, 2023
Benjamin Watson Preaches Gospel on CNN: 'Where Will You Spend Eternity?'

Benjamin Watson Preaches Gospel on CNN: 'Where Will You Spend Eternity?'

Author and former NFL player Benjamin Watson told CNN's Anderson Cooper Wednesday that Damar Hamlin's medical emergency on national television is a reminder that everyone eventually will face death but that God provides a solution "through His Son Jesus Christ."

Watson, who played 15 seasons as a tight end in the NFL and won a Super Bowl alongside Tom Brady, made the comments as he and Cooper discussed the dangers of football and the condition of Hamlin, who suffered a cardiac arrest after making a tackle and remains in critical condition. Medical professionals performed CPR on Hamlin on the football field. The game was suspended.

"To me," Cooper said, "it's such a reminder, not only of the violence of … the game of football, but it's the frailty of human life, that somebody in their prime, an incredible athlete at the top of their game, life can change in the blink of an eye, and you know, and it can for all of us."

Watson agreed.

"You're exactly right," Watson responded. "These times bring us face to face with our own mortality. And we all have a day to be born, and we all have a day to die. And so often, in the in-between those two points, we feel invincible – whether you're a professional athlete, whether you're at the top of your profession, whether you're feeling healthy, you understand that sometimes there's a reminder that, 'Hey, all of us have an appointment with death.' But I think after that, it also makes us realize, 'Where are we? Where do our hearts stand?' If that were to be us laying on the field or that were to be us laying in the hospital, what would our next steps be?"

Watson, a Christian, said he believes good can come out of the tragedy.

"Part of my prayers right now, Anderson, is for the players in both of those locker rooms, for the chaplains who I know very well who are right now, counseling and comforting players who saw a brother in a near-death experience and who was still fighting for his life," Watson said. "Because the questions about what happens after this life – where will you spend eternity? – as you mentioned, Anderson, are coming up for all of us, not just for the football players. But thank God that He provides an answer through His Son Jesus Christ."

Watson is the author of two books, The New Dad's Playbook: Gearing Up for the Biggest Game of Your Life and Under Our Skin: Getting Real About Race - and Getting Free from the Fears and Frustrations That Divide Us. He also is the executive producer of a documentary, Divided Hearts of America.


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Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Robin Marchant/Stringer

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

Benjamin Watson Preaches Gospel on CNN: 'Where Will You Spend Eternity?'