Skip to comments.High school track team disqualified for making religious gesture
Posted on 05/03/2013 2:14:35 AM PDT by markomalley
Some people are outraged after a high school track team is disqualified from competing in state finals because one runner made a religious gesture. In just a few seconds the boys Columbus High School 4 X 100 relay team went from winning the regional meet, heading to state championships to having it all stripped away. How did the "W" so quickly become "DQ"? Well. when the anchor of the relay team crossed the finish line, he won the race, raised his finger to the sky and that gesture caused the winning regional's relay team to be disqualified.
"It's a sad deal. I think it's a travesty. Those kids work hard," says K.C. Hayes. Hayes' son Derrick Hayes is the runner who won the race then pointed to God, turning a once in a lifetime opportunity into a huge heartbreak that will likely last his lifetime. "As a team they reached their goal and in an instant it was just gone, over something we think is a non-issue. I guess someone else thinks it is an issue. He just said dad I was pointing at the heavens" says K.C. Hayes.
A judge with the University Interscholastic League or UIL, which enforces the rules for high school athletics, was there at the meet in Kingsville and made the call to disqualify the four member relay team. "For those kids the work they put in, what are we teaching them? Ok you're going to sacrifice, work hard and do everything it takes and ok it's just ripped away," says Hayes.
"It's a harsh consequence for what some people may deem a small gesture. The rule states no celebratory gestures including raising your arms," explains Columbus I.S.D. Superintendent Robert O'Connor. According to the UIL the relay team was disqualified for "unsporting conduct". The UIL also points out, it does not have a rule prohibiting religious expression. "You can do whatever you want to in terms of prayer, kneeling or whatever you want to once you get out of the competition area. You just can't do it in the competition area. It goes back to the taunting rule. I can't taunt my opponent," O'Connor explains.
"It's not a malicious act. It's not a taunting act. It's a 'we did it' and he (my son) knows where the source comes from. I know him. He's not a malicious kid. On the football field he'll hit you and then help you up," Hayes says.
"It's heartbreaking," says O'Connor. Superintendent O'Connor says since Saturday's track meet and the disqualification he has received a number of nasty emails. One read 'Dear sir, you, are an idiot'. O'Connor wants to stress this is not his decision. This is coming from the UIL. In fact, the district protested the disqualification but the UIL is not changing the decision.
This wouldn’t have happened if the runner was black, or if he had shouted “allahu akbar”.
Our nation is so screwed up. These UIL officials are idiots and cowards. If this kid had dropped a Muslim prayer rug on the track and bowed down for 10 minutes while pointing toward Mecca, they wouldn’t have said a peep, but because one kid at a track meet pointed towards the clouds after winning a race, the whole team is disqualified. This is not only an unconstitutional ruling, but it is a flagrant act of religious bigotry.
I’m hoping Jay Sekulow is ready to collect a huge fee from this organization.
If this had been a muzzie throwing down his blankie and praying on the finish line we would not have heard about it.
What an absolutely ridiculous situation. This HAS to have a good Constitutional Law lawyer all over it... Plus the public needs to express outrage toward the stupid Czar who is enforcing this “rule”.
< facepalm >
Maybe he was pointing at Uranus.
I bet that they would like.
"You can do whatever you want to in terms of prayer, kneeling or whatever you want to once you get out of the competition area. You just can't do it in the competition area. It goes back to the taunting rule. I can't taunt my opponent."
Even though the headline is a bit misleading, the rule is an example of micromanaging stupidity which of course is the result of the leftists and their agenda to control everything.
I hope there’s a lawsuit. Last time I checked, the part in the constitution guaranteeing freedom of religion has not yet been repealed.
Media Contact: Kate Hector
I think this contact information could be helpful ;)
And the country became Godless and fell.
They say the decision was made by a “judge,” but they don’t name this judge. I think he should be named, and his address and telephone number be published.
Is it possible the public really condones this?
the rule is an example of micromanaging stupidity
Correct on both counts, at least from the information we have here.
He's a worm.
Rules are rules.
sure sounds like religious bigotry in action
last i checked, EVERY CITIZEN of the United States is protected under the first amendment, not just child pornographers. that protection includes the free exercise of their religious beliefs... which includes pointing to the sky to thank their creator.
i say sue the hell out of the organization then have all officials that signed off on it, fired. then sue them personally.
don’t leave those progressive nazis with a dime to their name
No, of course they're not ready to admit a prohibition on religious expression; so, by creating a structure of rules that effectively bans them they also have plausible deniability.
Eggs are eggs.
Thank you Mayor Bloomberg.
It’s been my experience that the folks who govern these sorts of athletic boards are some of the most hidebound, humorless bleeps you’ll find.
As for the decision, I think it sucks...though I do generally see why the rule about hand gestures is in place. Low-class “in yo’ face!” crap is part and parcel of a lot of athletics these days, and not just at the pro level. It’s just a real shame a kid who pretty clearly wasn’t taunting anybody (and in fact, was being rather humble by thanking God) is a victim of a “one size fits all” regulation without any real immediate recourse but to take it on the chin.
Rules are rules
Zero tolerance. And any kid who points a French fry at another kid and says "bang" should be expelled and arrested. /s
Texas is becoming Red Hampshire...coasting on former reputation.
FWIW smiling is a “celebratory gesture.” Did they disqualify every winner who smiled? Or just the ones who appeared to be recognizing the source of their God given abilities?
Call me stupid, but I don't know what religion has the gesture of one finger raised to the sky.
If they finished first, then one finger looks like someone's saying "#1" to the world. That's what one finger raised to the sky after a victory means anywhere else I've ever seen it. I have never seen one finger raised to the sky mean "God".
So, my sense is that the family is being coy and trying to turn this into a religious discrimination case.
Call me crazy, and certainly biased. I ran track and coached it for about 8 years. It has a bunch of really dumb rules about bracelets, rings, spandex under shorts, and even their "celebration" rule can be called arcane.
However, it is a rule no matter how dumb, and the "one finger = God" thing has escaped me in my 33 years of ordained ministry.
As Granny says in Josie Wales: "Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining."
Yep...and if we keep it up...all of us will violate one of these idiotic PC rules eventually...including you.
Some day you are going to get busted with a weapon (when they've been outlawed)...but you should have known better 'cause "rules are rules."
The Bill of Rights and our Constitution RULES! I can hear the money coming. What a bunch of stupid whimps!!!
Here’s the problem, schools have become increasingly hostile to any and all forms of Christian expression. The gesture he gave is pretty consistent with the religious expressions of football players that point to the heavens either following a touchdown or at the end of a game or baseball pitchers who point upwards to the heavens after getting that final out. The gestures are not intended to taunt anyone but to recognize God. In that sense it is purely a religious observance.
Any rule which prohibits religious expression is subject to strict scrutiny and the rule must not be so overly broad that it impinges upon a persons right to practice their faith so long as it does not unreasonably interfere with anyone else’s rights.
In this case any rule which would prevent an athlete from making any gesture that could be interpreted as being a religious expression should be void on its face. The kid’s actual motives are irrelevant in that the rule itself is unconstitutionally overbroad.
Maybe his claim that this was a religious expression was an afterthought, but the government cannot make an inquiry as to whether or not he is truly religious. The only inquiry is whether this gesture can be interpreted as a religious gesture. If it can, then the rule cannot prohibit it.
Did you get your law degree as a prize in a box of Cracker Jacks?
“This happened in TEXAS ? ?”
That’s what I’m thinking. As a Texian, I’m totally embarrassed. When I first saw the news spot I thought “there goes some of those east coast/west coast idiots again.” But here in Texas? Don’t know who has over site of the UIL but this needs fix’en ASAP!
The assertion is that judgment was used to punish this religious act. The judge simply ruled that an act was disrespectful in his opinion and used his power to DQ.
IMO, such a drastic consequence requires clear evidence and explanation ... not simply a declaration “in the judge’s opinion, the athlete was disrespectful” with the only clarifying information being “the athlete raised his hand”...
That is a good explanation. Anything that can be interpreted as a religious expression should over-ride. However, in this case, the officials cannot be faulted. No one knows the "Finger = God" expression, whether that's what the kid meant or not. (And which I still think is not likely. I think the officials are right: One finger pointed to the sky after winning equals "#1" being broadcast to the crowd.) Therefore, the officials must enforce a relatively dumb rule, although an NFL endzone celebration makes me puke. That is far more, though, than one finger pointed to the sky.
I have heard that a hip-swaying, shouting, gaggle of celebrants is really a liturgical dance in honor of God.
Maybe he was pointing at Uranus.
I bet that they would like.
If this crap continues, I may be pointing at Mars...if you know what I mean.
He might have an out if he says that he was pointing to the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
That is in the 10th Congressional District McCaul (R). Now all we need is to get he information on the “judge” and the organization to make a public spectacle out of them. Who, knows, he could have been giving thanks to his grandparents who may have passed, it don’t know. More importantly, it doesn’t matter.
Most likely not but if you were to ping his IP address, it would be likely he is just waking up in a Holiday Inn Express.
Rules are rules.
Quite right BigCinBigD, you and your family are hereby directed to report for transportation at 8:00am tomorrow. You may bring one suitcase for your family. Do not be late or absent.
Rules are rules.
The question is whether the gesture can “reasonably” be interpreted as a religious expression. It is very common in professional sports for athletes to point upward after a victory as an expression of thanks to God. I see it all the time and it has become routine with pitchers when they get the final out in a game.
There is no doubt that pointing to the sky has become a religious expression in sports. The rule prohibits “celebratory gestures” and is intended to limit those kinds of expressions which draw undue attention to the athlete. The rule, however, cannot prohibit any gesture intended to give honor to God.
As with all rules, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. The rule is unconstitutionally overbroad. They should have included language that exempts religious expression or indicated that it applied to gestures intended to taunt the other athletes or to draw undue attention to the person making the gesture. Apparently neither of those conditions were present here.
I’m hoping Jay Sekulow meets with this kid.
If they had a rule against “celebratory gestures” and that rule was known and accepted by all, then I’d live by the rule. BUT, if the student was not taunting the other team and the judge was just showing hostility to religion, then I’d say, fine, you want make rulings on technicalities? This was not a “celebratory gesture,” it was a gesture of thankfulness. In fact, I would take it as the exact OPPOSITE of a celebratory gesture. For a Christian, this is saying “It’s not my greatness. I’m giving credit to God.”
“But, after all, I did break one of your laws.”
“Well, what do you think they’re for?”
Dr. Ferris did not notice the sudden look on Rearden’s face, the look of a man hit by the first vision of that which he had sought to see. Dr. Ferris was past the stage of seeing; he was intent upon delivering the last blows to an animal caught in a trap.
“Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against - then you’ll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We’re after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to it. There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of law-breakers - and then you cash in on guilt. Now, that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”
Imagine employing the idiots who buy into this PC crap.
University Scholastic League
The Judge is from a University. We all know what Universities are filled with.
Leftists and Communists.
It should be deemed Treasonous to even think of sending American kids to some of these places of Brain washing.
C’mon Texas...we look to you for common sense.
I expect this left wing stupidity from CAL. Not TX
I thought the in state illegal alien college tuition and forced STD vaccinations of little girls were just aberrations....
It's hard to have the 'everyone is a winner and gets a trophy' philosophy in this kind of competition. So I guess the ideas is 'Ok, if there has to be a winner, he's not allowed to enjoy it', lest the losers, excuse me, non-winners might have self esteem issues.