New Colorado head coach Deion Sanders has triggered a war of sorts between two religious groups and is caught in the middle.
Sanders has made no secret of his Christian beliefs and the prayers he has been having with his players have rubbed a group the wrong way, with the Freedom from Religion Foundation having sent the University of Colorado a letter claiming to have been contacted by residents who are concerned the HC might be pressuring his players to pray, per The Christian Post (H/T Fox News).
The letter, sent on January 24, quoted the prayer below.
Lord, we thank You for this day, Father, for this opportunity as a group. Father, we thank You for the movement that God has put us in place to be in charge of. We thank You for each player here, each coach, each family. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
The group urged the university to ensure that Deion understands he was hired as a football coach and not a pastor while demanding that he is reminded of “his constitutional duties under the Establishment Clause.”
Said group sought assurances that Sanders “will not continue to proselytize to his players or subject them to coercive team prayers.”
According to Deseret News, the university responded the following week, claiming that the coach was “very receptive to this training and came away from it with a better understanding of the University of Colorado’s policies and the requirements of the Establishment Clause.”
The school is also said to have indicated that any player who had a problem with future prayers would be directed to the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance.
However, the First Liberty Institute has defended Sanders, pointing out that the university could be violating the coach’s rights. A letter from the institute reads:
We write to correct the Freedom from Religion Foundation’s (FFRF’s) misstatements regarding the requirements imposed by the First Amendment on public school employees’ religious expression. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that public school employees may engage in religious expression and exercise; therefore, public universities like CU may not target Coach Sanders (or other members of the football staff) for exercising constitutional rights on campus.
The above is in relation to a 2022 Supreme Court Case, Kennedy v. Bremerton, in which the court ruled in favor of a Washington high school football coach who prayed after games with his team.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.