San Francisco 49ers legend Bryant Young credited his Christian faith and his family during his enshrinement speech Saturday while being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, saying his story is one of “faith, football and family.”
Young, a defensive lineman, tallied 89.5 sacks in 14 seasons while making four Pro Bowls. He was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s
“What a journey: Six kids. Careers. Injuries. Life-altering losses,” he said during the ceremony in Canton, Ohio. Referencing his wife, he added, “Kristin – my partner in all things, co-heir in Christ – you embody much of what this jacket and this day represent: sacrifice, selflessness, integrity. I love you so much. … Kids, I admire your courage, determination, maturity and resilience. You inspire me to be the best version of myself. I’m proud to be your dad. I love you.”
Young retired in December 2007, more than a decade after he was drafted in the first round of the 1994 NFL Draft out of the University of Notre Dame.
“I stand here thanks to my root system: My wife, family, and friends. Teammates – my football brothers,” he said. “The University of Notre Dame and the 49ers. Coaches who saw potential and honed it. Doctors, trainers and spiritual mentors. And our church and school community.
“And above all, a gracious God,” he said.
Young referenced the many trials he’s faced in life, including injuries, the 2020 death of his mother and the 2016 death of his son, Colby, to brain cancer.
“I’ll close with some lessons I’ve learned along the way: From my pain, I’ve found purpose. Letting someone grab my hand is as important as reaching for theirs,” he said. “In an isolated world, personal connections matter more than ever. I keep my gaze on Christ and pour myself into good works, including the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. I’ve learned to trust God’s plan and timing, not mine.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Nick Cammett/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.