This Sunday, millions of Americans will gather in their living rooms, around bars, or at Super Bowl watch parties to see the Los Angeles Rams face off against the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI.

But no matter which team you’re cheering on (maybe neither), one player we can all cheer on is No. 93, the Rams’ defensive tackle, Marquise Copeland.

Marquise is 24 years old, and ironically went to college in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Following his collegiate football career for the University of Cincinnati, Marquise was drafted by the Rams in 2019.

Marquise, as a professional football player, is undoubtedly one of the most talented athletes in the nation.

And yet, he almost didn’t make it into this world.

According to LifeNews, when Marquise’s mother, Tenisha Copeland, was pregnant with him, she endured so much pressure from family and friends to abort him that “it put her in a state of clinical depression, requiring hospitalization.”

But Tenisha refused, and after being released from the hospital, was received by Open Door Maternity Home in Euclid, Ohio, which is “a residential ministry for pregnant teens.”

It was there that Tenisha “learned to trust Jesus and drew close to Him,” and soon after, gave birth to Marquise.

When choosing between colleges, Marquise opted for the University of Cincinnati so that his mom could be close enough to drive to his games.

And now, Marquise is headed to his first Super Bowl on Sunday!

Movingly, “Tenisha continues to live in the Cleveland area with her daughter Jayla and will be cheering her son on as he plays in the most important game of his football career.”

This is only possible because Tenisha courageously chose life for her son, even in the face of criticism and condemnation from her friends and family who encouraged her to abort Marquise.

Now to be clear, Marquise’s value as a human being is not found in his talents as a football player. If Marquise weren’t a professional football player, his life would be of no less value.

No matter our station in life, we’re all equally valuable in God’s sight.

And yet, one wonders how many NFL players, doctors, scientists, engineers, teachers, and professors we’ve lost due to our throwaway culture, where abortion is commonplace.

Thankfully, the world didn’t lose Marquise.

This Sunday, my favorite NFL team isn’t in the game.

So instead, I’ll be cheering on No. 93.

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Photo from Reuters.