Seth Udinski, FISM News
As the Philadelphia Eagles prepare to play in their second Super Bowl in five seasons, a potentially serious off-the-field distraction has risen to the surface involving a backup lineman.
On Wednesday, multiple outlets reported that 25-year-old Joshua Sills, reserve offensive lineman for the Eagles who saw limited playing time in the 2022 season, was arrested on accusations of rape and kidnapping from an incident in 2019.
Philadelphia Eagles backup offensive lineman Joshua Sills will face one count of rape in the first degree and another count of kidnapping in the first degree, stemming from a Dec. 5, 2019 incident, court documents show. https://t.co/TfEMukdCTS
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 2, 2023
Reports indicate Sills reportedly “engaged in sexual activity that was not consensual and held a victim against her will” on December 5, 2019.
The Philadelphia Eagles released a statement Wednesday, saying the organization is aware of the arrest:
The organization is aware of the legal matter involving Josh Sills. We have been in communication with the league office and are in the process of gathering more information. We have no further comment at this time.
Reports indicate that Sills’ court date is set for February 16, less than a week after the Eagles face the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII.
On Wednesday afternoon, Pro Football Talk released a report revealing that Sills has been relegated to the Commissioner Exempt list, meaning he is prohibited from practicing with the team and playing in the Super Bowl, but he is still allowed to receive a paycheck from the league while the investigation plays out.
On Thursday, the New York Post revealed some of the gruesome details from the police report, alleging that Sills forcibly held the victim in his car, threatened her, and forced her to perform oral sex for 20 minutes, resulting in bodily injury to the victim.
Author’s Biblical Analysis
As an Eagles fan, my first reaction to this was “Are you serious? Right before the Super Bowl?”
I was perturbed at this young man, not for what appears to be a sinful infraction against God (assuming the claims of what he did are true), but for stirring up a potential distraction as my favorite team prepares for the biggest game of their season. Obviously, you can see how this was a moment of sanctification for me when I remembered that some things are more important than sports.
So for Christians, alongside my previous revelation, what can we take from this report?
Surely, we should pray for those involved. We should pray for the truth to come out of the investigation. If Sills is innocent, we should pray the judge finds him innocent, and if he is not, we should pray for justice to be done. We should also pray for healing for the victim, both physically and emotionally, and that God would show Himself near to her in her pain.
Additionally, we see a clear warning: Apart from Christlikeness, nothing else matters.
Josh Sills had a rare chance to suit up for the Super Bowl (to give you an example of how rare this is, consider that this is only the fourth Super Bowl appearance for the Eagles and the 3rd for their opponent the Chiefs in the 57-year history of the Super Bowl era). Very few football players are talented enough to even have a chance to make an NFL roster. Even fewer make that cut, and only a fraction of those play on a team with the talent to contend for a Super Bowl birth. Only a select few of those ever make it to the big game.
But now, none of that matters.
For Christians, we need to remember that all the personal accolades, popularity, success, and riches in the world do not even compare to living a life above reproach. The gospel matters more than anything, and for those of us who have trusted in Christ as a result of the gospel, our highest aim must be living a holy life in order to bring glory to God.
As you pray for and consider the outcome of this case, remember to look inward. Ask God to reveal the ways in which you have not lived as a set-apart, redeemed saint (which literally means “sanctified one”). And remember that Christ, who has justified you through His substitutionary sacrifice, is also sanctifying you, making you more and more into His image.
But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” – 1 Peter 1:15-16