Arian Foster, the Miami Dolphins running back who was arguably the highest profile atheist in all of professional sports before his retirement from the NFL midway through this past season, will be receiving a special honor from a group of atheists at Harvard University.
The Humanist Hub, in partnership with the Harvard Community of Humanists, Atheists, and Agnostics, just announced that Foster will receive their “11th Annual Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism, as part of a ceremony held on Harvard’s campus on Sunday April 23 at 1:30pm.”
This award, created in 2007, honors an individual whose life and contributions to popular culture and society exemplify the values of humanism, a nonreligious philosophy of life based on reason, compassion, integrity, and justice.
“It’s an honor to be invited to talk about my values at a place with some of the brightest minds in the world,” Foster said.
“I want to help make a wider audience aware of the need for human progress.”
With countless millions of fans and sky high ratings, NFL Football provides a wide audience for athletes who use its platform to speak out about social issues.
“Talking about the ethics of football is more important than ever,“ said Greg Epstein, Humanist Chaplain at Harvard and the Humanist Hub’s Executive Director.
“The humanist community cares deeply that sports, as a part of our popular culture, are responsive to social justice and public health. Our students have held several high profile conversations on this topic in the past, and with the football community’s first-ever open humanist set to visit, the dialogue is sure to grow.”
The award has previously gone to Salman Rushdie, Greg Graffin (lead singer of Bad Religion), Joss Whedon, Mythbusters‘ Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, Stephen Fry, author Mary Roach, Eddie Izzard, and (most recently) actress Carrie Fisher.
Tickets are available online.