Before the San Francisco 49ers clash with the Kansas City Chiefs at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida, on Sunday in Super Bowl LIV (54), NFL stars and award-winning Gospel and contemporary Christian artists gathered for the 21st Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration (SBGC) to give glory to God and draw awareness to cancer prevention.
This year’s Christian event was hosted by national radio host Rickey Smiley, who presented the Faith in Action award to Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Quincy Williams and New York Jets defensive end Quinnen Williams, who both lost their mother to breast cancer a decade ago and have promoted awareness alongside the American Cancer Society.
“[The Williams brothers stress the] critical importance of cancer prevention and awareness,” event organizers said in a statement released to The Christian Post after the brothers received their award at Miami’s James L. Knight Center during the NFL-sanctioned event.
Both brothers have been an inspiration to American youth, having overcome pain and suffering as early teens to share their stories of success, faith and hope amidst tragedy and hardship.
“They’re turning their family tragedy into a mission by donating their time and resources to ensure African American people receive proper testing for cancer in their communities,” BET reported about the brothers prior to the Super Bowl.
And with the recent tragedy of Los Angeles Lakers all-star shooting guard Kobe Bryant’s heart-rending death with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others in a Southern California helicopter crash last week, a special tribute was given at the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration by American Gospel musician and pastor Travis Greene.
“The unforgettable evening of celebration and praise [included] Travis Greene bless[ing] the stage with a touching tribute to Kobe Bryant during Super Bowl Gospel Celebration,” a SBGC post on its Facebook page reads.
The hour-long event took place before a live audience and featured the NFL Players Choir and acclaimed entertainers Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin, Le’Andria Johnson, Travis Greene, Yolanda Adams and Anthony Brown, who all performed on stage in downtown Miami – not far from the impending kickoff between the five-time Super Bowl champion 49ers and the Chiefs, who are in their first Super Bowl appearance in 50 years.
Presenters at this year’s Christian event are Tennessee Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard, Detroit Lions defensive tackle Mike Daniels, Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Devin Funchess.
Since 1999’s Super Bowl XXXIII, the annual Christian event has taken place at the city of America’s most-watched sports event to celebrate God and His blessings and bring NFL players, top Christian singers, award winning performers and special guests together to share a message of faith and hope.
In years past, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Natalie Grant and Fantasia Barrino joined the celebration.
The 2018 Faith in Action award went to Pro Bowl Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who highlighted Psalm 37:23 as a Bible verse guiding his life on and off the gridiron: “The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him.” (NIV)