Supreme Court Sides With HS Football Coach Who Prayed At Midfield After His Team's Games

GCLFan99

Well-known member
The argument against allowing him to pray at midfield is that players might feel pressured to join, which means he is imposing his religious beliefs in his capacity as a school employee. From everything I have read the players who joined him did not feel pressured and as such he should be allowed to do it. But lets be clear he was trying to make this an issue, as he could have stood off on the sidelines and quitely said his prayers. But he wanted attention hence his decision to go midfield, kneel and pray.

In this case SCOTUS probably made the right decision however it opens the door for more public school employees to bring religion into the schools. Where is the line drawn? Does this case set precedence?

My kids went to Catholic school, prayed after games and I am all in favor of it (at a Catholic school). I think this is dangerous precedent they set with this ruling.
 

Blue Jay Fan

Well-known member
Gorsuch explained this ruling pertained to religious and non-religious views. In the vein of free speech, what will an asst. coach NOT be permitted to say in this situation? Will he be able to discuss his politics? Condemn one side? Espouse conspiracy theories? Wave a Confederate flag? Wave a rainbow flag? Players don't have to listen but we all know the interaction between players and coaches.
 

CasualFan24

Well-known member
As long as people can march on the White House and protest whatever their heart desires, people can also pray in public spaces. Based on some of the "logic" being spewed about in this thread.....It should be what, illegal(?) for a person go to a public park (community, state, or national), throw down a blanket, face Mecca/Jerusalem/Taco Bell and pray on their own? Ok, what law did they break? What punishment should they receive? We have people worried that their "impressionable" children might see someone kneel and pray - I surely hope you don't allow your children to watch TV or heaven (is that allowed) forbid they open a social media app or an internet page!
 

utsherman

Well-known member
As long as people can march on the White House and protest whatever their heart desires, people can also pray in public spaces. Based on some of the "logic" being spewed about in this thread.....It should be what, illegal(?) for a person go to a public park (community, state, or national), throw down a blanket, face Mecca/Jerusalem/Taco Bell and pray on their own? Ok, what law did they break? What punishment should they receive? We have people worried that their "impressionable" children might see someone kneel and pray - I surely hope you don't allow your children to watch TV or heaven (is that allowed) forbid they open a social media app or an internet page!
This dude was doing it on the job. If he wanted to head to the public park after the game, have at it.
 

CasualFan24

Well-known member
This dude was doing it on the job. If he wanted to head to the public park after the game, have at it.
So a teacher loses his/her rights as an American Citizen when they take the job? Oh, I didn't realize! If that's how it works, better brush up on your Algebra because we're gonna have a real hard time finding teachers....

Also - the game was over correct? 0.00 on the clock - I believe coach was officially clocked out.
 
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riverroad

Member
There is going to be a race to the bottom in doing pregame prayer circle jerks. It's going to be a prayer arms race across high school football and it will be embarrassing.
 

adog

Well-known member
You clearly seem like an atheist so you can stop trying to lecture Christians or Catholics on religion.

No Christian would accept being compared to satanists. And yes it is a stupid comparison. Satan is evil. In the other religions , their deity isn't the epitome of evil.

I've already answered you that I wouldn't care if people pray to whoever as long as they don't force their players to join. But schools aren't going to hire a satanist to lead their sports program. There is a reason for that
How would they know if they hired a satanist? You can't ask that i an interview
 

falcons53

Active member
Already happening on the Debate Forum. I put this on here because the case before the court involved a High School Football Coach.

Some of the responses were just as expected. ;)
The issue is (and always is on here or social media) that people want to debate what they believe is "right" vs "legal." Those things involve interpretation of law as opposed to moral or other beliefs.
 

falcons53

Active member
Yes. A private employer can deny you that right. Only a government employer is prohibited from impeding free expression.
You might want to read the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is pretty clearly stated and the court has upheld it multiple times. Again, separate from this case as this is government employer.
 

Starkbuck

Active member
The issue at play here is not the prayer itself, but praying as a coach who is actively serving in his duty as the mentor/leader of the children of that assigned public school. His actions as a leader can and will be, representative of the school district and in this case serving as an endorsement of a religion which is a violation of the educator code of conduct (at least in Ohio). I've not read the entirety of the opinion, but I believe they ruled in favor of the coach as it pertains to his termination as a result of his religious belief. That would be the only justification in which the first amendment could and would apply to this situation.

For those comparing this to kneeling, you're correct that the actions are similar in that his position as a leader directly and indirectly influences the youth under his supervision. The distinction however, is that the act of protesting is protected and promoting faith as a public employee is not. I think this situation is different than some of the others that have come up, but my fear is that these "optional" prayers will become more prominent and ultimately we all know how "optional" things work in sports.

I struggle with this as a Catholic parent, not because another man is talking about god and praying. My issue is that prayer is taught to be a private conversation with god, and this bastardizes the importance of prayer in my opinion. I also think it is inconsiderate for me to expect others to view societal norms and what is appropriate based upon my beliefs and vice versa. However, I expect leaders i.e. coaches to be role models for our youth, and indirect or direct religious influence is not his or her responsibility. That responsibility is the job of the parent(s) and while we can agree that not every parent is active in this way, it isn't your right or job to fix those things.
 

utsherman

Well-known member
So a teacher loses his/her rights as an American Citizen when they take the job? Oh, I didn't realize! If that's how it works, better brush up on your Algebra because we're gonna have a real hard time finding teachers....
So if you yell "F_ck" in your workplace, no consequences? You ever heard of a code of conduct? You should try it and see if it's the same outcome as yelling it in the public park. Lol. Or how about a kindergarten teacher that decides to talk about their sex life in the classroom because it's their right as an American citizen? You cool with that?
Also - the game was over correct? 0.00 on the clock - I believe coach was officially clocked out.
So his job responsibilities were complete? He doesn't head back to the locker room with the rest of the staff?
 

TigerPaw

Well-known member
Gorsuch explained this ruling pertained to religious and non-religious views. In the vein of free speech, what will an asst. coach NOT be permitted to say in this situation? Will he be able to discuss his politics? Condemn one side? Espouse conspiracy theories? Wave a Confederate flag? Wave a rainbow flag? Players don't have to listen but we all know the interaction between players and coaches.

Key point. When does a "prayer" become something more neutral like the Lords Prayer, vs. a political statement? Ie. abortion, racial equality, immigration etc etc. Very easy (and very common) to shield personal views though "prayer". Hopefully too, christians are as tolerant of non-christian coach or school employee led prayers, that others can feel encouraged to freely join in also. I can almost envision competing faiths having "prayer offs" after games in little splinter groups. Hopefully most will just voluntarily refrain from making a spectacle of their faith at sporting events. Uggh.
 

chs1971

Well-known member
So if you yell "F_ck" in your workplace, no consequences? You ever heard of a code of conduct? You should try it and see if it's the same outcome as yelling it in the public park. Lol. Or how about a kindergarten teacher that decides to talk about their sex life in the classroom because it's their right as an American citizen? You cool with that?

So his job responsibilities were complete? He doesn't head back to the locker room with the rest of the staff?
I know a lot of construction guys who would be in trouble then.
 

CasualFan24

Well-known member
So if you yell "F_ck" in your workplace, no consequences? You ever heard of a code of conduct? You should try it and see if it's the same outcome as yelling it in the public park. Lol. Or how about a kindergarten teacher that decides to talk about their sex life in the classroom because it's their right as an American citizen? You cool with that?
Your argument is literally not even apples to oranges - its apples to hamburger. The point I was posting about was the coaches right to pray in a public space. And his maintaining of rights as a citizen even though he's a government employee. But sure, I'll run with it anyways. Please show me in a code of conduct for teachers where it says they are not allowed to pray. I'll wait. Mind you, again, he's not leading a prayer - he knelt, prayed, and got up. He didn't gather everyone around, didn't encourage people to hold hands...none of that. He did NOT lead a prayer.

Guys/Gals/Whatever you identify as - this is NOT hard. Its VERY VERY SIMPLE. Everyone on this thread arguing that it violates the separation of school and religion. Listen very closely.....THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, not your local podunk civil court....I'll say it again...THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ruled in his favor. Ruled that he was NOT in violation. I'm pretty sure they're more qualified to rule on something like this than any of us....
So his job responsibilities were complete? He doesn't head back to the locker room with the rest of the staff?
Last thing and this is really just for fun because my previous statement pretty much ends all arguments - You tell me when his job responsibilities are complete!? When you run into him at the supermarket on Sunday afternoon....you still call him "Coach ______" ????? So, is he still under work order/control on Sunday afternoon too???
 
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CasualFan24

Well-known member
So if you yell "F_ck" in your workplace, no consequences? You ever heard of a code of conduct? You should try it and see if it's the same outcome as yelling it in the public park. Lol. Or how about a kindergarten teacher that decides to talk about their sex life in the classroom because it's their right as an American citizen? You cool with that?

So his job responsibilities were complete? He doesn't head back to the locker room with the rest of the staff?
I lied, one more thing! Democrats all over this country are trying to pass legislation to teach sexual orientation to grade school students starting as early as 1st grade - but sure, lets worry about the guy who knelt and prayed on a friggin football field.
 

AllSports12

Moderator
So his job responsibilities were complete? He doesn't head back to the locker room with the rest of the staff?
If something happened because he was at mid-field praying instead of supervising his kids, then you'd have grounds for firing the coach.

Nice try however....... 🤣
 

CasualFan24

Well-known member
If something happened because he was at mid-field praying instead of supervising his kids, then you'd have grounds for firing the coach.

Nice try however....... 🤣
LOL no kidding. Not to mention - I'm not sure how every other community does it, but theres about 1000 people on our football field literally seconds after time expires.....so I'm sure coach is responsible for all those people too right?!
 

utsherman

Well-known member
If something happened because he was at mid-field praying instead of supervising his kids, then you'd have grounds for firing the coach.

Nice try however....... 🤣
There's no "try" required. Dude is claiming that the coach was officially "clocked out" when the scoreboard reached 0:00. I was responding to his assessment. You agree or disagree that the coach was officially done when the clock ran out. 🤷‍♂️
 

utsherman

Well-known member
I lied, one more thing! Democrats all over this country are trying to pass legislation to teach sexual orientation to grade school students starting as early as 1st grade - but sure, lets worry about the guy who knelt and prayed on a friggin football field.
Nice pivot. Lol.
 

CasualFan24

Well-known member
There's no "try" required. Dude is claiming that the coach was officially "clocked out" when the scoreboard reached 0:00. I was responding to his assessment. You agree or disagree that the coach was officially done when the clock ran out. 🤷‍♂️
At least this is debatable - maybe we can get the Supreme court to decide on this for us too!
 

utsherman

Well-known member
Umm, I was responding to the rest of your statement - trying to tell you that your kids teacher talking about sex isn't that far fetched these days....but you can call it a pivot, thats fine.
Well, sure. It's not far-fetched, but not commonplace either. And if it does occur, it would be outside of said code of conduct or ethics, and that teacher should be out of a job.
 

GCLFan99

Well-known member
So a teacher loses his/her rights as an American Citizen when they take the job? Oh, I didn't realize! If that's how it works, better brush up on your Algebra because we're gonna have a real hard time finding teachers....

Also - the game was over correct? 0.00 on the clock - I believe coach was officially clocked out.
Lets start with your last point. When the clock hits 0.00 if the coaches talk to the team after the game, are they not doing so as coaches? When they head back to the locker room or board the bus are they doing so as private citizens and not in their capacity as a coach? Thought so.

Citizens do not lose their rights when they become a teacher. However school are allowed to impose specific rules on their employees. On the weekends you might like standing on a street corner spewing racial epithets (free speech) however I am pretty sure your employer will frown upon doing that at the workplace.

Employers are allowed to impose restrictions on their employees. I understand that this particular case was not as blatant as some expressions of religion however our country has had this divide between government (i.e public school) and religion. This decision will open up a can of worms as who is to decide what is an acceptable show of faith by school employees versus unacceptable? If a Muslim teacher has students taking a test would it be acceptable for them to lay down their prayer rug and begin quietly saying prayers?
 

GCLFan99

Well-known member
The issue at play here is not the prayer itself, but praying as a coach who is actively serving in his duty as the mentor/leader of the children of that assigned public school. His actions as a leader can and will be, representative of the school district and in this case serving as an endorsement of a religion which is a violation of the educator code of conduct (at least in Ohio). I've not read the entirety of the opinion, but I believe they ruled in favor of the coach as it pertains to his termination as a result of his religious belief. That would be the only justification in which the first amendment could and would apply to this situation.

For those comparing this to kneeling, you're correct that the actions are similar in that his position as a leader directly and indirectly influences the youth under his supervision. The distinction however, is that the act of protesting is protected and promoting faith as a public employee is not. I think this situation is different than some of the others that have come up, but my fear is that these "optional" prayers will become more prominent and ultimately we all know how "optional" things work in sports.

I struggle with this as a Catholic parent, not because another man is talking about god and praying. My issue is that prayer is taught to be a private conversation with god, and this bastardizes the importance of prayer in my opinion. I also think it is inconsiderate for me to expect others to view societal norms and what is appropriate based upon my beliefs and vice versa. However, I expect leaders i.e. coaches to be role models for our youth, and indirect or direct religious influence is not his or her responsibility. That responsibility is the job of the parent(s) and while we can agree that not every parent is active in this way, it isn't your right or job to fix those things.
What a reasoned response to this issue. Thank you. I share your sentiments as a Catholic parent. My son's played for a Catholic school so prayer after games was welcomed. This coach was free to stand quietly on the sidelines and express his faith. He chose to make a public display by heading to midfield and kneeling to pray right after the game. From everything I read I don't believe it unduly influenced players on the team. I think those that joined him did so of their own free will. The problem is that our country has accepted a clear separation of church and state and public schools fall under "state". This decision will make it much more difficult for school to restrict displays of faith by their employees. Who is to determine what is acceptable and what is not? I would venture to guess that there are a lot of school districts in this state, who's parents would be up in arms if teachers of Muslim faith actively practiced their faith on school grounds.
 

AllSports12

Moderator
There's no "try" required. Dude is claiming that the coach was officially "clocked out" when the scoreboard reached 0:00. I was responding to his assessment. You agree or disagree that the coach was officially done when the clock ran out. 🤷‍♂️
He's ultimately responsible until every player leaves that locker room..... It comes with the territory.

If he's on the phone talking when something happens or is talking a reporter he's just as responsible as if he's kneeling at mid-field and saying short prayer....

Again..... nice try
 
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