Patriots’ WR Matthew Slater on Fifth Super Bowl: Football is Just ‘a Game’
The Special Teams Captain says football isn't the most important thing he'll do.
“This is not life and death. This is not the biggest thing that we’ll do,” New England Patriots wide receiver and Special Teams captain Matthew Slater told CBN Sports. “The biggest and most important decision we’ll ever make in our lives is what we do with the knowledge of Jesus Christ.” Slater has been very vocal about his relationship with Jesus. Football is just a game.
“For people that look at this game as the end-all, be-all, it’s not. It’s a game. We’re thankful to be here, we’re thankful for the opportunity. We love what we do but we have to keep perspective on the greater good.”
Love for the Game
“The whole reason I got into football was because of my dad. He was my hero,” Slater talked with the Boston Globe about his father, Jackie Slater. “There’s no one in my life that has had more influence in my life, on who I am [and] where I am, than my father. My love for the game, I got it from him.’’ The elder Slater was a Rams offensive tackle for 20 years. And Matthew Slater picked up some of his dad’s habits — including the coin toss.
Slater remembers his dad doing the coin toss for the Rams. “He always called heads, so I asked him one time, ‘Hey, why do you do that? What’s the story behind that?’ I think anyone who knows my family knows faith is important to us, and for him, he was always like, ‘You know, God’s the head of my life, so I call heads.’ That was something he came up with, and I’ve kind of just embraced it.” Now Slater calls heads on each of his coin tosses.
Brothers in the Lord
He’s not the only NFL star to prioritize faith over football. In 2018, Slater said that he admires the “tremendous faith” of the Philadelphia Eagles. “I really appreciate Carson [Weinz]’s boldness for the Gospel, how he represents Christ day in and day out. And it’s not only him. You know, Nick [Foles] does that as well. Chris Maragos. Brother Burton. I mean, there are a lot of brothers over there that stand firm for what they believe in, they represent the Gospel in a tremendous fashion.” Slater says they’re his “brothers in the Lord.”
Spreading the Gospel to the Press
In 2017, before Super Bowl LI, Slater shared the Gospel in an interview with the media. He explained that the first step is realizing the extent of their sin, that it separated them from God. Then he told the reporters that Jesus came to die for everyone’s sins. “And if you’re able to put your trust in Him, and confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that He is who He says He is, then from there, you can initiate a relationship with Him.”
It doesn’t stop there. “But I also believe that repentance is a big part of that as well,” he added. “You have to turn from your old life of sin and try to model a Christ-like life. I think that’s something we’ll never fully figure out on this side of Glory, but it is certainly a one day at a time process that I’ve been so blessed to be on for the last 25 or so years.”
Slater and the rest of the Patriots face off Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams. It’ll be Slater’s fifth time to play at the Super Bowl.
So who will dad root for at Super Bowl LIII? His old team or his son’s current team?
“We had a good conversation [Sunday] night. He’s going to support his son, so we cleared the air on that last night, and we’re squared away.”