Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. High School Track Team Disqualified for Pointing to God

 

We’ve all seen it hundreds of times. Athletes pointing to the sky in gratitude to God when they’ve won (and sometimes even when they’ve lost). Whether it’s Nick Swisher from the Cleveland Indians, Olympic athletes like Tervel Dlagnev after freestyle wrestling and Hunter Kemper at the end of a triathlon, or most notably Tim Tebow, it’s as American as apple pie. Until now.

As Texas high school sprinter Derrick Hayes crossed the finish line in the 4X100 relay with the team’s fastest time ever, he pointed to the sky. It was a natural impulse. It’s also what got the Columbus High School Mighty Cardinals team disqualified and out of the state championship.

“It was a reaction,” Derrick’s father, KC Hayes, said. “I mean you’re brought up your whole life that God gives you good things, you’re blessed.”

But the Texas school district has a zero tolerance for “excessive celebration” at sports events. Superintendent Robert O’Connor said that includes raising hands.

“I don’t think that the situation was technically a terrible scenario as far as his action, but the action did violate the context of the rule,” O’Connor said.

Like Shylock demanding his pound of flesh, O’Connor and the state have refused to budge.

Those coming to the team’s defense, including Derrick’s father, consider the disqualification a violation of religious freedom.

“You cross a finish line and you’ve accomplished a goal and within seconds it’s gone,” KC Hayes said. “To see four kids, you know, what does that tell them about the rest of their lives? You’re going to do what’s right, work extra hard, and have it ripped away from you?”

So now an act that was once commonplace (and still is in professional sports), has been deemed “excessive celebration” by the government powers that be. How ironic because it is not that at all. Quite the opposite. It’s an act of humility, a kind of sports version of non nobis, “Not to us, Lord, but to your name give glory.”

In a day of rampant narcissism among teens, this seems like the perfect message to encourage. Evidently not. Conformity to government regulations is the absolute, unwavering priority—no matter who suffers.

There are 53 comments.

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  1. flownover Inactive

    Wonder how they would have handled this ?

    mexico-city.jpg

    • #1
    • May 5, 2013, at 7:43 AM PDT
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  2. Herbert defender of the Realm,… Inactive

    Exactly what I thought about flown over. It’s what rules are for…..

    • #2
    • May 5, 2013, at 7:48 AM PDT
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  3. Crow's Nest Inactive

    It surprised me to read of this happening in Texas.

    • #3
    • May 5, 2013, at 7:50 AM PDT
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  4. D.C. McAllister Inactive
    D.C. McAllister
    Herbert Woodbery: Exactly what I thought about flown over. It’s what rules are for….. · in 2 minutes

    That was a political statement at a time of violence and upheaval. No one had ever made a political statement like that at the Olympics, and it was particularly controversial during a heated revolutionary time. I’m not commenting on whether the IOC was correct in its response or not, but I would not compare it at all to what this boy did at a high school track meet–raising his finger to God–especially when athletes all over the country in every sport do it all the time. As Aristotle said, justice needs to have moderation and to be governed by wisdom.

    • #4
    • May 5, 2013, at 7:51 AM PDT
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  5. Barbara Kidder Inactive

    J.S. Bach is, no doubt, turning in his grave.

    The prolific and preeminent musician and composer wrote at the beginning of all his works: “ad maiorem Dei gloriam” (to the Glory of God).

    The hordes are at the gates…

    • #5
    • May 5, 2013, at 8:01 AM PDT
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  6. D.C. McAllister Inactive
    D.C. McAllister

    Even if we give the district the benefit of the doubt and that this has nothing to do with religion, I have a serious problem with the zero-tolerance policies that are rampant in schools today. This approach to regulations is fear-driven, it’s solely for protecting the institution, and it doesn’t aim to do what’s best for the students. The harm this kind of enforcement has caused across the nation is ridiculous (think of the second grader suspended for bring a box cutter to class that he had to bring for a science project!). Administrators and educators have stopped using their hearts and brains to cultivate wisdom and instead blindly, like a stupid herd, follow inflexible rules that serve only to CYA.

    • #6
    • May 5, 2013, at 8:04 AM PDT
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  7. Valiuth Member
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I think the saddest thing about this is that the 2nd place team accepted first under these ludicrous circumstances. This would be the time for true sportsmanship to shine through, and for everyone to stand up against a bad call. 

    • #7
    • May 5, 2013, at 8:26 AM PDT
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  8. Nick Stuart Inactive

    Denise is correct, but from the point of view of the administrators and educators what’s the alternative? Exercise reasonable judgment and get embroiled in a controversy the result of which is you lose your job and/or the school district gets sued.

    Which is yet another example of the whole system of public-funded/public-provided education is irremediably screwed up. When people are essentially forced to put their children in an institution where they have virtually no say about what goes on, they get cranky, contentious, and litigious. The current “choice” homeschool or astronomically expensive private school is no choice at all for a large number of parents.

    The only workable solution is decoupling public funding from public provision of education. Give the parents a voucher so they can have a genuine choice about where their children go to school.

    • #8
    • May 5, 2013, at 8:28 AM PDT
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  9. Commodore BTC Inactive

    This is about moronic blind enforcement of a zero tolerance policy by incompetent administrators.

    I doubt they personally had any gripe with religious expression.

    • #9
    • May 5, 2013, at 8:36 AM PDT
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  10. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I think the officials were boxed in. They didn’t initiate the act but acted on a complaint from another coach.

    I umpired baseball for years and there certain rules that officials do not enforce unless it’s initiated from the opposition.

    • #10
    • May 5, 2013, at 8:42 AM PDT
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  11. Schrodinger's Cat Inactive
    Denise McAllister:

    Even if we give the district the benefit of the doubt and that this has nothing to do with religion, I have a serious problem with the zero-tolerance policies that are rampant in schools today. This approach to regulations is fear-driven, it’s solely for protecting the institution, and it doesn’t aim to do what’s best for the students. The harm this kind of enforcement has caused across the nation is ridiculous (think of the second grader suspended for bring a box cutter to class that he had to bring for a science project!). Administrators and educators have stopped using their hearts and brains to cultivate wisdom and instead blindly, like a stupid herd, follow inflexible rules that serve only to CYA. · 34 minutes ago

     

    The real irony is that the damage caused by zero tolerance is far greater than the “harm” they seek to prevent.

    And, isn’t “zero tolerance” just another way of defining maximum intolerance? Where are the “tolerance advocates” on this?

    • #11
    • May 5, 2013, at 8:43 AM PDT
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  12. D.C. McAllister Inactive
    D.C. McAllister
    EJHill: I think the officials were boxed in. They didn’t initiate the act but acted on a complaint from another coach.

    I umpired baseball for years and there certain rules that officials do not enforce unless it’s initiated from the opposition. · 0 minutes ago

    If that’s true and another coach did this, then he’s a real **expletive** (not to mention a sore loser).

    • #12
    • May 5, 2013, at 8:43 AM PDT
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  13. D.C. McAllister Inactive
    D.C. McAllister
    Schrodinger’s Cat

    The real irony is that the damage caused by zero tolerance is far greater than the “harm” they seek to prevent.

    Excellent point. Of course we know “tolerance” isn’t about tolerance at all. It’s a bully tactic.

    • #13
    • May 5, 2013, at 8:45 AM PDT
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  14. Herbert defender of the Realm,… Inactive

    As Aristotle said, justice needs to have moderation and to be governed by wisdom.

    .

    So leave it in the hands of administrators to use there judgement? Seems like that is what they have done here and they are still getting criticized for it…… What about a tebow move?

    • #14
    • May 5, 2013, at 8:51 AM PDT
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  15. D.C. McAllister Inactive
    D.C. McAllister
    Herbert Woodbery: As Aristotle said, justice needs to have moderation and to be governed by wisdom.

     

    .

    So leave it in the hands of administrators to use there judgement? Seems like that is what they have done here and they are still getting criticized for it…… What about a tebow move? · 1 minute ago

    They didn’t use their best judgment. They didn’t exercise common sense and wisdom. They enforced the letter of the law to the detriment of the students.

    • #15
    • May 5, 2013, at 8:54 AM PDT
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  16. Joel Raupe Inactive

    ‘Zero Tolerance’ is equivalent to ‘Zero Thinking,’ and it is about protecting the institution.

    The religion of no-religion needs to be confronted for what it has become. Agnosticism is a religion, fast becoming the established religion.

    • #16
    • May 5, 2013, at 9:08 AM PDT
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  17. D.C. McAllister Inactive
    D.C. McAllister
    Joel Raupe: ‘Zero Tolerance’ is equivalent to ‘Zero Thinking,’ and itis about protecting the institution.

    Just think about this in terms of regulations dealing with healthcare as Obamacare is implemented. Frightening.

    • #17
    • May 5, 2013, at 9:13 AM PDT
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  18. DocJay Inactive

    What a joke. I wonder how people view the opposing coach where he lives.

    • #18
    • May 5, 2013, at 9:21 AM PDT
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  19. RobGen Inactive

    Sad. The worst part is that it’s a private act, and has nothing to do with a public display. Idiots.

    I wonder how they would deal with something like this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0GByFJ-zMQ

    But, I agree, probably the administrator is just a middle man. Should he stand up for what is right and lose the ability to put food on his own kid’s table? That’s not so obvious to me.

    • #19
    • May 5, 2013, at 9:30 AM PDT
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  20. katievs Member
    katievs Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    This is disturbing regardless of whether it was deliberately anti-religious or not. It is objectively anti-religious, because it is part of the larger, leftist push to replace the natural moral order with a bureaucratic and legal order. 

    It is now “illegal” to judge between a gesture of grace and gratitude and a gesture of taunting.

    Reasonable judgment is excluded as a category. All that remains is forced conformity to arbitrary policy.

    Pope Emeritus Benedict was right to call it “the Dictatorship of Relativism”.

    • #20
    • May 5, 2013, at 9:31 AM PDT
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  21. D.C. McAllister Inactive
    D.C. McAllister
    katievs: This is disturbing regardless of whether it was deliberately anti-religious or not. It isobjectively anti-religious, because it is part of the larger, leftist push to replace the natural moral order with a bureaucratic and legal order. 

    It is now “illegal” to judge between a gesture of grace and gratitude and a gesture of taunting.

    Reasonable judgment is excluded as a category. All that remains is forced conformity to arbitrary policy.

    Pope Emeritus Benedict was right to call it “the Dictatorship of Relativism”. · in 0 minutes

    Perfectly said!

    • #21
    • May 5, 2013, at 9:31 AM PDT
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  22. Skyler Coolidge

    As an atheist, I object to this stupid policy. People are free to worship and pray as they want. There is a huge difference between state sponsoring religion and individuals making their own prayers. This is dangerous for the first amendment.

    • #22
    • May 5, 2013, at 9:38 AM PDT
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  23. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member
    Denise McAllister If that’s true and another coach did this, then he’s a real **expletive** (not to mention a sore loser). · 21 minutes ago

    Here in Ohio there is only one state-sanctioned official at every track meet. (Well, actually two but one is handeling the boys, the other the girls. But they don’t work the races together.)

    Everyone else is a volunteer and affiliated with one team or another. They work within the rules.

    If the top 3 go to state I’ll guarantee you that the fourth place team was looking for the slightest infraction.

    • #23
    • May 5, 2013, at 9:38 AM PDT
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  24. D.C. McAllister Inactive
    D.C. McAllister
    EJHill
    Denise McAllister If that’s true and another coach did this, then he’s a real **expletive** (not to mention a sore loser). · 21 minutes ago

    Here in Ohio there is only one state-sanctioned official at every track meet. (Well, actually two but one is handeling the boys, the other the girls. But they don’t work the races together.)

    Everyone else is a volunteer and affiliated with one team or another. They work within the rules.

    If the top 3 go to state I’ll guarantee you that the fourth place team was looking for the slightest infraction. · 2 minutes ago

    I understand. I was a state competitor in track (800 meters and 1600 meters/ 4X400) and I know coaches look for any advantage, but this is just low. It doesn’t change the outcome of the race (like stepping out of a lane or actually false starting and not getting called on it). It’s dishonorable.

    • #24
    • May 5, 2013, at 9:43 AM PDT
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  25. HeartofFLA Inactive

    Excessive celebration. So no raising one’s arms above your head as you cross the finish line; no pointing to heaven as a small, quiet gesture of thankfulness. Are baseball players allowed to high five a player as he crosses home plate after a home run? How about patting a fellow player on their back for a good play? Will the crowd next be asked to sit quietly in their seats displaying no emotion?

    Do you hear that sound? Chipping away…it’s being chipped away. Our rights, our individualism, our lives are being slowly managed to death by the PC police. RGIII had it right the other day. It’s got to stop.

    I wish some teams would take a stand and say that they aren’t playing until some of these commissions get a grip on reality.

    • #25
    • May 5, 2013, at 9:55 AM PDT
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  26. D.C. McAllister Inactive
    D.C. McAllister
    civil westman

    This has very deep roots in American jurisprudence. I only became aware of it after finishing law school. It completely passed me by at the time (I knew something wasn’t quite right), but law schools in the US subscribe to a utopian “Rationalist School of Law.” The goal of this philosophy is to create a body of law so dense that it anticipates, a priori, every possible circumstance and creates a rule for it! The very purpose is to eliminate human discretion in deciding legal matters! Since the body of law is deemed to be perfect, the only role of the judge is to find and apply the correct rule – hence, ‘zero-tolerance.’ The present inhuman action is merely a glaring example of how the law has distanced itself from justice and humanity. It bodes ill. · in 3 minutes

    When I first started reading this, I immediately thought, but what are judges for? and then you answered it! In the Old Testament, God set up judges to exercise their wisdom as a few laws were enforced. Wisdom was key. But to have wisdom you need an moral core. Our nation has lost that more core.

    • #26
    • May 5, 2013, at 9:55 AM PDT
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  27. civil westman Inactive
    katievs: 

    Reasonable judgment is excluded as a category. All that remains is forced conformity to arbitrary policy.

    This has very deep roots in American jurisprudence. I only became aware of it after finishing law school. It completely passed me by at the time (I knew something wasn’t quite right), but law schools in the US subscribe to a utopian “Rationalist School of Law.” The goal of this philosophy is to create a body of law so dense that it anticipates, a priori, every possible circumstance and creates a rule for it! The very purpose is to eliminate human discretion in deciding legal matters! Since the body of law is deemed to be perfect, the only role of the judge is to find and apply the correct rule – hence, ‘zero-tolerance.’ The present inhuman action is merely a glaring example of how the law has distanced itself from justice and humanity. It bodes ill.

    • #27
    • May 5, 2013, at 9:55 AM PDT
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  28. Paul Dougherty Member

    It is kind of sad that, at some point in the past, the school district saw need to codify this as an infraction. Sportsmanship should be enforced at the team level by the coach, where it is instructed. I am more appreciative of sportsmanship as a revelation of character and not required by law. If it is absent, it is absent.

    • #28
    • May 5, 2013, at 10:07 AM PDT
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  29. jarhead Inactive

    Ever wonder what would have happened if the boy had shouted, “Allahu Akbar,” at the end of the race?

    • #29
    • May 5, 2013, at 10:14 AM PDT
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  30. Profile Photo Member
    Last evening while driving home from a wedding and listening to a radio talk show (out of my region so I don’t know the program or the location of the event); they were discussing a case of a young boy who left his shot gun from hunting in the back of his pickup- upon arriving at school he realized it was in the back of his truck, and called his mom to come and move his truck off of school property, someone over heard the phone call, I don’t know if it was a student or staff member. He was fined, arrested, and expelled for a week – zero tolerance – apparently a college scholarship and even his attendance next year (he’s a senior) are in jeopardy because he’s been charged with a felony. The district is refusing to back down.So this is where this leads – informers, blighted futures, and injustice.This is how revolutionary zealots are created, young men who will be willing to listen to evil ideologies someday, because modern law and order only bring injustice.Or conversely young men who will pick up arms to save us from tyranny.
    • #30
    • May 5, 2013, at 10:44 AM PDT
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