I really don’t understand how anyone could look at the situation taking place on the Clemson University football team — where the coach’s Christianity is allowed to run rampant and players are pressured to attend religious events even if it’s outside of practice — and think it’s okay.
My theory is that they don’t think it’s a big deal because it’s the faith of the majority. “Everyone” in South Carolina is Christian, so what’s the big deal if it seeps onto the football field?
But that’s precisely the problem. Everyone on the team, Coach Dabo Swinney included, can practice their faith as they wish, but when you’re in uniform representing a public university, there’s no room for proselytizing. No non-Christian player should have to choose between pretending to be religious to curry favor with the coach and being true to their own beliefs. There’s plenty of opportunity to hold religious events off the field — so why not just leave it there?. (I’d say the same thing if we were talking about an atheist coach pressuring players to stop believing in God. As if that would ever happen.)
Ellen Menywrote an article for The Tiger News, the school’s newspaper, that’s downright hilarious. Meny wants to say that there’s no proselytizing problem and groups like the Freedom From Religion Foundation are making a big deal out of nothing:
For weeks now, we’ve been talking about the overt religiosity on Clemson University’s football team. They have baptisms after practice and a paid team chaplain. Coach Dabo Swinney has chartered buses to take team members to Fellowship of Christian Athletes breakfasts. It’s over the top and completely unconstitutional at a public school.