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Athletes: Please stop comparing your challenges to Jesus’. Thank you

There ought to be a rule in sports that no one can compare himself or any other athlete to Jesus – not because it’s sacrilegious but because it sounds so ridiculously out of proportion. Like comparing apples and solar systems.

First it was Bears tight end Martellus Bennett bringing up a higher power last season while defending teammate Jay Cutler: “They threw rocks at Jesus, and Jesus was an excellent guy who did a lot of awesome stuff.’’

Nobody threw rocks at Jesus, but you get the idea: Both J.C.s have had it rough!

Now it’s Lakers rookie D’Angelo Russell discussing how he deals with criticism: “LeBron gets criticized. Jesus still gets criticized.’’

If the two Kings can get dogged, anybody can!

Bennett and Russell are saying that haters will hate, but the only thing that criticism and crucifixion share are some “c’s,” some “i’s’’ and an “r.” It’s possible both athletes look to every aspect of Jesus’ life for direction. But what they said sounds like a clichéd version of what a famous athlete might say in a movie, like something out of “Jerry Maguire.’’ It sounds like this: Athlete with huge opinion of himself (and other pro athletes) puts himself on a pedestal with God.

Half of Chicago is thinking: Now, if it were Michael Jordan comparing himself to the divine, OK.

Some people think religion has no place in sports. Others can no more separate religion from sports than they can water from rain.

But can we agree that criticizing an athlete for throwing three interceptions in a game is not on the same level as criticizing Jesus for dining with a tax collector? Thank you.