Sanya Richards-Ross, the four-time Olympic gold medal winning track-and-field athlete, has said she believes that God cares whether people win or lose sporting events.
"It frustrates me when people say, 'God doesn't care whether you win or lose.' We don't get to pick and choose what God cares about," Ross told Christianity Today during an interview about her new book, Chasing Grace: What the Quarter Mile Has Taught Me About God and Life, published on Monday.
"If something is important to us, He cares. There are lessons for us to learn when we win and when we lose," the 32-year-old expectant mother added.
For years people have questioned whether God cares about sporting events and who wins or loses. Last year, LifeWay Research released a survey of 1,000 Americans who were asked if they believe God determines the winner and loser at Super Bowl football games.
According to LifeWay, 85 percent of Americans said no and 11 percent said yes, which left 4 percent undecided in the matter. Chad Gibbs, the author of the book, God & Football: Faith and Fanaticism in the SEC, previously told CNN he believes that God might have a hand in the outcomes of games.
"I know many people who say God doesn't care about sports, He has more important things going on. My view of God is a little bigger than that," Gibbs said. "I think God can hear prayers about Sudan and Mark Ingram's knee at the same time. But I think it's obvious some things are more important than others, and on the list of things that should grieve our spirit, missed field goals are pretty far down the list."
Still, Britton recognized the importance of Christian athletes using their sports platform to glorify God.
"Worship and church is not just about a brick building," he said. "Therefore, the playing field can be a sanctuary where athletes get to glorify God and use the gifts God has given them to perform, pray and compete just like they're in church."
For Richards-Ross who officially retired from the track last year, it has been important to use her career to glorify God.
"I do believe my running and speed came from God," she told Christianity Today. "They were a talent I was blessed to have, so every time I stepped on to the track, I tried my best to use my talents for Him."