Antwaan Randle El: Redskins Wide Receiver
By Shawn Brown
The 700 Club
Washington Redskins’ wide receiver, Antwaan Randle El, is making his mark in the NFL. After a stellar college career at the Indiana University, where he played football, and basketball, he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he helped his team win Super Bowl XL. As a NFL champion, he says he knows how to handle all of the attention and status. But as a star quarterback in college it was a different story.
In the words of Antwaan Randle El:
“For me, I was a young brother with fame. I mean, I was a Quarterback! And I was everything. I could have anything that I wanted. That’s the way that I was. I took it to a different level. My focus wasn’t God; and because it wasn’t, I was playing good but I struggled in a lot of areas. I grew up in church. I mean, everyday all day, I grew up in church. I understood it and lived quite right, you know, straddled the fence a lot in high school. Then, when I got to college, drifted away a lot being away from home and not truly living for God.”
Meaning he was living a double lifestyle.
“When I say I straddled the fence, I straddled the fence. I mean, I could look back and you know, one week I’m praising God and calling, telling guys, ‘you need to come to Bible study and hang out.’ And then the next week, I was right back on the wrong trail.”
With all his freedom and influence, Antwaan choose to live life on the edge by partying, drinking, and having sex- just like most of his friends.
“They think that’s what it takes to be a man. If you talk to a lot of young kids today, that’s what they think. They think being with a girl, having sex with a girl - you’re a man now. That’s the way they think, when it’s actually the opposite. I wish I had never gotten involved with having sex. I wish I was pure before I married my wife. I mean, you’re sleeping with different ones - that’s simply many divorces, basically. And when you engage with those different people, they are connected to you for life in some type of way.”
Eventually his actions caught up with him when his girlfriend got pregnant.
“And then I had my first child. And that was my turning point - with my daughter, Sierra, because it was not only about standing strong, be a man, take your child. But you have to think about your life too. And when it came to thinking about your life, if something happened right now today, where are you going? I would have went to hell. Done.”
As a new father, Antwaan began refocusing on his priorities. Then, during a college break he did something he didn’t expect.
“When I got a chance to go home to my church home, that’s when I gave my life back to Christ. I said, ‘I don’t want to go back to that old life, the hanging out and the cursing, and the women. And from that point on, I just tried to live for the Lord. I mean really seeking Him and just begin to understand that it was about a relationship more than anything. And I’ve gotten so close to God since then. It’s helped me to be able to raise the family that I have now. I have a wonderful wife and four kids. And it helps me lead my household right now.”
Shorty afterwards, Antwaan was drafted into the NFL by the Steelers, but not as a quarterback - a wide receiver. Now he’s with the Redskins and though he’s not a quarterback, he’s still regarded as a team leader and is determined to share this message with anyone who will listen.
“Jesus Christ is where it’s at! I understand now. This [NFL] is my platform for me to reach out to those who don’t know, for those who know and know they need to get right. Use your platform to continue to build up the body of Christ. Money’s going to come and go. All the things - the drinking, the drugs, the women, they come and go. Get something that’s stable. Get something you know you can count on. You can’t count on the dollar. You can’t count on alcohol. You can’t count on a woman. I mean, even my wife - I love my wife, she’s living for the Lord; but I can’t count on her like I can count on Jesus. No. Jesus is perfect. He is perfect in everything that He has done and everything that He is doing. So because of that, why would you not want to be on His side? If you put your trust in Him, you can’t go wrong. That’s just the bottom line.”
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