The hits keep coming

Yes, the images of young men praying together after a football game are inspiring. It’s good to have them participate in a peaceful, collaborative meditation on life and the game. No argument there.

But the real test of this decision will be if a Muslim coach gathers players to lay down a prayer rug, face east, bow down and pray to Allah. If that is also protected and accepted, then the Court’s latest decision has some logic. I hope someone tests that theory soon…

The coach is in a position of power. He or she can have great impact on the players, and can not-so-subtly pressure the players into following his/her lead along with the rest of the team. That’s kind of the definition of being a coach – you teach and influence. But what about the Muslim kid whose parents don’t want him joining in a Christian prayer? Or the atheist kid? And again, what about a Hebrew coach who wants to lead the team in a piyyut – a prayer chant? Will the WASPy parents respect that coach’s right? Based on my experience in football America, I don’ think so.

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