(obscure American Baptist Jim Brown. Who knows what he could’ve accomplished were it not for religion?)
On Friday, the Evening Standard’s Jack Rivlin reported the Baptist World Alliance and England’s Baptist Church are being sued for $10 million by a retired soccer play who claims the church’s “psychological” tactics cost him a sporting career. I have no idea what Grant Roberts’ religious background is, but I hope he’s paying rapt attention.
Mr Arquimedes Nganga, 46, from Forest Hill, said he could have earned £20,000 a week, despite never making more than £200 a month in his home country Portugal’s Third Division. He quit the sport aged 25 when he converted to the Baptist faith.
He said: “I could definitely have had a long career in the Premiership. I see many players playing today who I am not inferior to – and perhaps even better than. Most midfielders are either defensive or attacking but I was both. I had something new.”
After converting in 1989, Mr Nganga spent 19 years as a “fervent evangelist”, devoting his life to the Bible and abstaining from sex. Now he is suing the leaders of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, who, he says, “conspired to defraud me of my finances, time and my life”.
In papers filed in the High Court, he accuses the church of destroying his social life and defrauding him of money through compulsory donations.