Q&A with Brad Kenney: the Rapids’ Volunteer Chaplain on Guiding Toward Unity, Teamwork, and Mental Well-Being for Team

Colorado Rapids Acquire Irish Midfielder Connor Ronan from Wolverhampton Wanderers

May 13, 2024 – Major League Soccer (MLS)
Colorado Rapids News Release

As part of our efforts to reduce the stigma around mental health, we are highlighting a member of our Mental Performance team each week in May. This week, we spoke to volunteer chaplain Reverend Brad Kenney about his long history with athletes and staff at the club, the intersection of faith and mental health and challenges he’s guided players through.

How long have you been at the club and what are your official duties with the Rapids?

I’ve been a volunteer chaplain with the club for 23 years. A chaplain serves people of all faiths or no faith. Some of the ways that a chaplain serves people of different faiths than their own is by resourcing and connecting them to different parts of the community where they may have needs. For a Muslim player, making sure that they know the local mosques; a Jewish player, where the local synagogue is, and then understanding where those players, those athletes, coaches, even how devout they may be in their faith, and how they want to observe that faith so that I can be an advocate, and emissary and ambassador. In past times, we haven’t had many orthodox Jewish players. Sometimes we have Muslim players who, in their Islamic faith, practice it to varying degrees. The same thing with Christianity–to talk about the three main monotheistic religions. Aside from that, I serve as an advocate and a help for someone who has no faith or perhaps they’re exploring faith, as well. Sometimes caring for them is just a conversation, simply having a coffee and figuring out what does life look like for them. Maybe there’s a sharing of stories or helping them with some direction or guidance and how they can overcome their challenges based on the resources that they have from their faith tradition, or if they don’t have a faith tradition, what other resources (like family, friends, or education) can help them get through things. As a chaplain, I have no agenda. I don’t set the starting lineup. I don’t make contract decisions. But I’m here as a friend, an advocate, a guide, sometimes a clergy person to do some of the religious things–Christian weddings, premarital counseling, things like that. But there may be other things where I “contract out” and connect someone to their own faith tradition for helping them wherever they are in the game.

Today, we have myself as lead chaplain, and I cover the first team and front office. We have a Rapids 2 chaplain, Reverend…

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