Tag Archives: Prayer

Should sports players be allowed to pray before the big game?

For many years being allowed to say a quick prayer before the big game is what hypes up the boys before they play. Whether it is just the fact that they feel protected after they say a prayer, or they just want that boost of confidence, like somebody else might have a say in the turning events of the game. Whatever reason they have for wanting to say that prayer they should be allowed to.  Then why can’t they? The supreme court ruled in a 6-3 vote that said students of a public school couldn’t lead a prayer before going out on the field (1)  It wasn’t the fact that the students were praying that the supreme court had an issue with, their issue was with the broadcasting of the praying. Saying that it broke the first amendment. That it violated the separation that was needed between religion and government. However, according to an attorney in Cincinnati, it is only not allowed when the coach calls the prayer. If for instance, the team members all decide to hold a prayer they are legally allowed to and protected to do so. (2) It’s no different than being required to allow Muslim people their prayer time in school. If a Muslim child who as a part of their religion needs to pray 5 times a day, the school cannot deny them the right to do so. they are protected under freedom of religion and cannot be discriminated because of that religion. (3) I believe that we should allow students to pray before a game if it’s something that they as a team feel they should do and all of them agree on praying. If it’s what’s giving some players the right vote of confidence they need we shouldn’t be the ones denying them of that.

  1. Cincinnati.com. N. p., 2018. Web. 1 Oct. 2018. https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2018/09/05/prayer-public-schools-must-student-led-voluntarily/1192954002/

  2. NewsHour Extra: School Prayer

    “Newshour Extra: School Prayer.” Pbs.org. N. p., 2018. Web. 1 Oct. 2018.https://www.pbs.org/newshour/spc/extra/features/jan-june00/prayerdecision.html

  3. Hart, H.

    Hart, Holland. “Prayer Breaks Present Difficult Religious Accommodation Issue.” Employers’ Lawyers Blog. N. p., 2016. Web. 1 Oct. 2018.Hart, H. Hart, Holland. “Prayer Breaks Present Difficult Religious Accommodation Issue.” Employers’ Lawyers Blog. N. p., 2016. Web. 1 Oct. 2018.




Praying before sporting events is nothing new in our country, especially for football teams. Others and organizations, like the Freedom From Religion Foundation, are saying that these coaches are breaking the law. The First Amendment allows everyone to freely exercise their religion and also allows everyone the right to freely express themselves. So the controversy is where the line is drawn, and to the extent that these freedoms go.

The line between what should and shouldn’t be allowed in freedom of religion and speech can sometimes be a confusing one. Teams and more specifically coaches, typically like to pray before games. Often asking for strength, courage, and that players remain healthy throughout the game. But coaches and schools are coming under fire for it, saying that they are violating the First Amendment for imposing their religion on students. The Freedom From Religion Foundation has not only gone after Dunmore High School, but another high school in Birmingham, Alabama, for praying before football games. They say that, “Public school events must be secular to protect the freedom of conscience of all students.” In their letter however, they fail to ask if any students have had any complaints about it, considering they are the ones who would be effected. Unless a student has told their coach, teacher, or school that they are offended by this prayer and asked that it be stopped, it doesn’t seem like it’s doing any harm. Sen. Lankford says, “Gratitude to God is certainly not a crime in America.” The only problem that could come from praying before a game would be if a student feels peer pressured to join in and not speak out against it. Although they always have the choice to not participate in the prayer as well.

The line for freedom of religion and speech for praying before games is definitely on the border. I don’t believe that it should be banned however, unless a student asks for it to be. Although since they have the option to not participate, I believe that others should be allowed to pray and practice their religion for the brief time before a football game.


Wertheimer, Linda K. “Opinion | Why You Shouldn’t Defend a High School Coach Praying on His Football Field.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 29 Oct. 2015, http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/10/29/why-you-shouldnt-defend-a-high-school-coach-praying-on-his-football-field/?utm_term=.64aa0bb5a937.

“Alabama High School Told to Halt Prayers before Football Games.” Fox News, FOX News Network, http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/10/26/alabama-high-school-told-to-halt-prayers-before-football-games.html.