While they might be superstars on the court, field, or whatever terrain their sport calls for, people are often interested in athletes daily lives. This encompasses everything from their marital status to their often impressive homes to their diet and fitness choices. And one significant aspect of an athlete’s personal life is his or her religious choices. Down are some of the iconic athletes you didn’t know were atheists.
5. Johan Cruyff
"I'm not religious. In Spain all 22 players make the sign of the cross before they enter the pitch. If it works all matches must therefore end in a draw" – Johan Cruyff pic.twitter.com/gLNRAOKV4U
— The Rat (@TheRatsBack) June 5, 2018
Cruyff once described himself as “not religious” and criticized the practices of devoutly Catholic Spanish players: “In Spain, all 22 players make the sign of the cross before a game; if it worked, every game would be a tie.” That widely quoted statement earned him a place on lists of the world’s top atheist athletes.
4. Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee pic.twitter.com/b1W2tkTOOo
— RΛMIN NΛSIBOV (@RaminNasibov) June 8, 2018
Lee is best known as a martial artist, but he also studied drama and Asian and Western philosophy while a student at the University of Washington and throughout his life. Lee’s philosophy was very much in opposition to the conservative worldview advocated by Confucianism.
When asked in 1972 about his religious affiliation, he replied, “none whatsoever”; and when asked if he believed in God, he said, “To be perfectly frank, I really do not.”
3. Riccardo Montolivo
Riccardo Montolivo ends his goalscoring drought for AC Milan. 😅 pic.twitter.com/tuJnp6LF1E
— bet365 (@bet365) August 17, 2017
Riccardo Montolivo has publicly stated he’s an atheist. With that said, Montolivo won’t allow his own beliefs to get in the way of what his religious teammates believe. He made that perfectly clear when he kept his thoughts to himself when AC Milan met with Pope Francis.
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