When championship sports teams are invited to visit the White House these days, many athletes feel the need to make some type of statement — verbally or via their actions — against the president to stir up some media attention.
University of Alabama football player JK Scott wanted to do something out of the ordinary when he and his teammates visited the White House and met with President Donald Trump on Tuesday. But it wasn’t designed to put the spotlight on the president, or even to generate attention.
Scott told AL.com that while on the team’s flight to Washington, he was hit with a revelation about what he would do when he met the president.
“Maybe the Lord wants to say something to President Trump or do something or we should pray for him,” Scott said.
And sure enough, that’s what he told the president.
As Trump shook the hands of members of the Crimson Tide, he approached Scott. The punter asked a question the president almost certainly wasn’t expecting.
“I said, ‘Hey, Mr. Trump, would you let me pray over you?'” Scott recalled. “He said, ‘Yeah, come on.”
Scott said he put one hand on the president’s shoulder and the other on his chest.
“And I prayed literally what the Lord was saying in my heart,” Scott said.
Teammates joined the impromptu prayer circle, creating one of the more memorable photos of the entire event.
Scott said he offered a simple message with his prayer with the president.
“Really the whole point of me laying my hands on him was not to be touchy feely but it was truly to say, ‘God, everything that you’ve done in me, everything you’ve shown about me and my identity and this love you’ve given me and transformed my life, I’m asking you to do that in him,'” Scott said.
After the prayer, Trump expressed his gratitude to Scott.
“He said, ‘Thank you so much. That was so beautiful,'” Scott said. “Then he gave me a hug.”
Scott is adamant his prayer request was not meant to be a publicity stunt, or even to make any kind of political statement.
He says he just felt a need to ask God to guide one of the most important people in the world.
“It had nothing to do with him being the president of the United States,” Scott said. “It had everything to do with him being a man, just being a son. It went from praying for the president to a place of truly praying over this man because God wants to touch him and God wants to show him he loves him.”
Since the mainstream media love to publicize athletes who refuse to visit the White House and meet with Trump, it’s not surprising Scott’s prayer circle wasn’t the top story on ESPN or MSNBC.
In fact, there wasn’t much discord at all among Alabama players about the visit — even from those who aren’t big supporters of Trump.
What a cool moment! .@AlabamaFTBL JK Scott asked @POTUS if he could pray for him and his staff. Video below shows President Trump and Bama players praying after the Tide's @WhiteHouse visit! @WBRCnews @BarrettSallee pic.twitter.com/tE4hj4k38l
— ChristinaWBRC (@ChristinaWBRC) April 10, 2018
“It’s an incredible honor for us to be invited to the White House,” said Crimson Tide running back Damien Harris, who has criticized Trump in the past, according to BamaInsider.com. “It’s something that comes with being a national champion, so we’re really thankful for the opportunity. There’s a lot of young guys who haven’t been able to make that trip yet, so we’re glad we got guys who can go for the first time and experience it the way we did when we were young.”
Alabama head coach Nick Saban reportedly told the players that visiting the White House as a team was not about politics.
“Coach Saban addressed it and just said, ‘Hey, we’re doing this regardless of your political thoughts. We’re going just to celebrate this team. It’s an honor. The White House is something that you can cherish forever,’” said offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher.
Suffice to say, Scott will cherish the fact he was not only able to visit the White House, but he was also able to lead a prayer with the president of the United States.
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