Holy shit, a million props to UConn. Ok, back story, here’s something their running backs coach said in an interview:
“We’re going to do things in our building, fellowship, non-denominational type things, players, coaches. We’re going to make sure they understand that Jesus Christ should be in the center of our huddle, that that’s something that is important. If you want to be successful and you want to win, get championships, then you better understand that this didn’t happen because of you. This happened because of our Lord and Savior.”
1. Inappropriate. Not everybody on your team is a Christian. What’s more, you’re an employee at a public university, you cannot endorse one religion over another.
2. Stupid thing to say. If god is the one who wins football games, why practice at all? I mean, if it isn’t the players effort and skill, why the need to lift weights? Why not just spend the time you would’ve spent practicing praying way more than the other team and even kick the occasional homo to get in good with the lord?
And, what’s more, you’ve just painted a picture of a god who, on a daily basis, shoots the bird at millions of starving children praying until they almost literally choke for their suffering to be lifted, either with food or with death, but who cares deeply about who wins a football game…and you worship that god. This says not only a great deal about the shallowness and insensitivity of god, it says a lot about you.
A local, Rena Epstein, wrote into the local paper saying:
“It sounds like football players who are not Christian might not be welcome at UConn, and would not feel a part of that huddle,” Epstein wrote. “[Head coach Bob] Diaco and Jones should know they cannot institutionalize their religious views at UConn because UConn does not have a religious affiliation like Notre Dame, where they are from.
“It is a public, nonsectarian institution where students of all faiths or no faith belong. The fan base is also diverse, and deserves better.”
And then university president Susan Herbst piled on with this statement:
“At public universities we value everyone in our community, and treat each person with the same degree of respect, regardless of who they are, what their background is, or what their beliefs may be. Every student, including student-athletes, must know they are accepted and welcomed at UConn. Always. Our staff should educate and guide students, to ensure they are well-prepared for life at UConn and beyond.
“But it should go without saying that our employees cannot appear to endorse or advocate for a particular religion or spiritual philosophy as part of their work at the university, or in their interactions with our students. This applies to work-related activity anywhere on or off campus, including on the football field. Our athletic director and Coach Diaco agree wholeheartedly with me, and have made this clear to their staff.”
Look, UConn, I don’t want to deprive you of a wonderful president…but do you think Herbst could run for congress? Good on her!