Katie Taylor

Olympic winner Katie Taylor was wrong to bring religion into sports - Saying God ensured she’d win her gold medal is just plain wrong

Right after Katie Taylor’s victory she was interviewed on RTE, Ireland’s national television station. She took her first few minutes of the interview to thank the Lord and Jesus Christ her Savior for her victory.

"I serve an amazing God and without Him I wouldn't be here without this gold medal around my neck," said Taylor, who wore a robe with the line, "The Lord is my shepherd and my shield."

"I would be nothing without God. He's the main thing in my life, the most important thing."

If you were unaware that Taylor was a born-again Christian, then her remarks set you straight. It was an unwelcome insight into a special moment, Ireland’s first gold medal since 1996.

It struck a jarring note, at least for this writer. Religion does not mix with sports or politics in my opinion. Religious views should be held in private and should not be used to justify victory, defeat or anything else.

I am sick and tired of athletes here in America using Jesus as their touchstone when they win (though they seem to forget to thank him when they lose).

Let’s get it straight, there is nothing wrong with being religious and pious and if it helps your focus and your ambition to win, so be it.

But to say that God has directly intervened to help you win is complete nonsense.

Besides, if there is a God, He/She has better things to be doing than worrying about an obscure boxing competition or an NFL game.

There has not been a word of criticism of Taylor’s over-the-top religious comments in Ireland, where she walks on water after her Olympic victory.

I can bet they would be the first to roll their eyes if it was an American who was spouting such sentiments after winning her gold medal.

There is a private place for religion in athlete’s lives but making a point of making God and Jesus the prime reason for your victory is absurd.

Training, commitment and sheer raw talent is what won for Taylor, not some religious blessing from an Almighty deity.