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October 02, 2017

Carson Wentz takes heat, praise for Jesus tweet in wake of Las Vegas massacre

As people across the United States confront the shock of Sunday night's deadly massacre in Las Vegas, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback entered the Monday morning conversation with a message that wound up grating the nerves of some on Twitter.

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Fresh off an Eagles win in Los Angeles, Wentz lamented the sniper attack that left at least 58 people dead and dozens more injured at the chaotic scene of a country music festival.

Wentz has never been shy about his religious devotion. His AO1 Foundation explicitly aims to "demonstrate the love of God" through various outdoor activities for underprivileged youth. He unironically says "dang." His teammates have poked fun at him for wearing sandals. It's a huge part of who he is and he tends to walk the tightrope between open adherence and humble faith. 

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But in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in American history, many on Twitter took exception to Wentz's religious appeal. 

There were also plenty of responses — including 47,000+ likes — that showed appreciation for Wentz's sentiments. 

There's almost no way to settle this type of debate without it inevitably venturing far from the incident that brought it to everyone's attention. While Wentz didn't appear to be making a political statement, many Americans feel the practical fault enabling these rampages lies with political inertia, not a spiritually closed society. 

As a rising star in the NFL, Wentz's words go a long way on social media. He'll be liable to criticism if he strays from the box of the professional athlete, but as the players have made abundantly clear in recent weeks, they expect to be free to speak their minds. This is just Wentz being himself, love it or hate it.