Cincinnati Bengals’ chaplain praises team members, calling them “men of integrity”

by Seth Udinski

Seth Udinski, FISM News


Last week, before the Cincinnati Bengals’ thrilling 27-24 upset win over the Kansas City Chiefs, team chaplain and former Bengal linebacker Vincent Ray spoke of his team’s character during an interview with Jade McCarthy on Sports Spectrum’s “Weekly Slant” show.

Ray said, “This team has a lot of character, men of integrity.” He spoke of the team’s improbably playoff run, in which they have won three thrilling games, two of which were on the road. The Bengals ended a 31-year playoff victory drought with their first victory of the playoffs, which was the longest in the NFL at the time.

He further highlighted his hope, that when the Bengal’s players careers are finished, they will know who they are, not as football players or even champions, but beloved children of God:

I’m happy they’re winning. But what I’m thinking of is them 10 years from now, 20 years from now when football’s done – that they know who they are. Football is what they did, but it’s not who they are. … They’re human beings, [they’re] the crowning creation of God. And secondly, if they are following after the Lord, then they are children of the Most High God.

Ray, who played nine seasons with the Bengals until his retirement in 2018, is the ideal man for the job of shepherding a group of successful athletes to know and love Christ. He said in the interview,

I realize that it’s an honor to partner with the Creator of all things. I get to partner with Him to put someone’s hand in the hand of Jesus.

The Bengals’ toughest challenge on the gridiron is before them, as they face off against another outspoken Christian, Cooper Kupp, and his NFC champion Los Angeles Rams in their own house on Feb. 13 in Super Bowl LVI.