Religion in the Locker Room Follow-Up

Religion In The Locker Room Follow Up from Mustang Morning News on Vimeo.

On November 10th, our staff aired on our show a story regarding the religious aspect of pre-game rituals done by Mira Costa’s varsity football team.

Before their games on Friday night, players meet in the locker room for what they call ‘chapel. During this, players are handed a bible verse and they discuss it. All players are also allowed to share anything they want. Then they congregate together for a prayer, before heading down to the field.

When on the field, players meet at the field goal to take a knee for a final prayer before the game starts.

All of these pregame rituals are optional for players.

Our previous story regarding this issue dealt with how during these rituals, coaches were present and a figure of the team was leading chapel. This violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment that prohibits governments, or government entities like public high schools, from promoting a religion.

There are many cases about coaches of public high school teams that are penalized for praying with their players, such as the recent incident with Bremerton High School assistant coach Joe Kennedy. Kennedy was placed on leave for praying on the field with players after the game. The Bremerton school district replied saying that his actions could be perceived as violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

In response to our story being aired, Costa principal Ben Dale said that he looked into the situation, and did not find anything wrong.

Administration looks to prevent this type of situation from happening again, not only in football but other sports as well.

Chapel at Mira Costa is now student run and coaches are no longer present.