The chaplain for the Super Bowl-bound Kansas City chiefs says the organization’s openness to matters of faith makes his job “easy.”
The Chiefs’ chaplain, Marcellus Casey, told Sports Spectrum he grew up a fan of the Chiefs because his father, Carey Casey, was the team chaplain. Even then, Marcellus was impressed with the organization – especially with then-owner Lamar Hunt, who passed away in 2006. Hunt’s children now own the team. Clark Hunt, a son, is the CEO.
“I remember as a little kindergartner, meeting Lamar Hunt in the parking lot and just how cordial and kind and loving he was with my father and I,” Marcellus Casey told Sports Spectrum.
“You see that legacy [today] throughout the whole family, with Clark and his wife, Tavia, and all the Clark siblings – it's really a family environment. It's really a faith-filled environment at the stadium and with their family. So it makes it really easy as a chaplain to have a positive impact with the players and with the coaches.”
Casey said he treats the players just like “human beings” who have “feelings” and “families,” even though they’re seen as stars in the public eye.
“They have past hurts and wounds that they've sustained,” he said. “… They're human beings just like anybody else. I just try to meet them where they are. If they have an injury, I want to be there to minister to them,” Casey told Sports Spectrum.
He holds separate weekly Bible studies for the coaches and players. A chapel service is also held on Saturdays before a Sunday game. His wife holds a Bible study for the wives and girlfriends of the players.
“I won't name names, but I will say that we're seeing a lot of [spiritual] growth with players that I interact with,” Casey said. “And we have real leaders – so as you think about leaders on the team, a lot of those guys are in the chapel.”
Asked about the “platform” NFL players have to proclaim the gospel on national television and within the media, Casey said such proclamations are “huge and awesome” – but not as important as day-to-day witnessing by the average Christian.
“Every human being has been given a platform to share the gospel,” Casey said on the podcast. “... If there's any Christian believer listening to this right now, go back to your office and share the gospel. Go to your neighbor and ring the doorbell. Take them some cookies and share the gospel. Because we all have a platform, and everybody really needs to be sharing their faith.”
The Chiefs will face the San Francisco 49ers Sunday in Super Bowl 54.
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: ESPN/Creative Commons/Wikimedia Commons
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-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.