Out of bounds? Player penalized for pointing to God

Ronnie Hastie gets down on one knee and points skyward each time he scores a touchdown.  It’s his way of recognizing God for his gifts. Not anymore. Hastie, a Washington state high school football player, was penalized during a recent game for his ritual, which referees deemed was unsportsmanlike.

This hasn’t been a good week for God on the gridiron. First, Bills receiver Steve Johnson took to twitter to blame God for his dropped overtime touchdown, now this.

As the attached FOXNews story asked: Are Hail Marys banned too?

If any call needs to be sent back to the Washington state replay booth, it’s this one. Where is the line drawn? Who is Hastie hurting with such a gesture? Were the other players adversely affected or did it delay the game in a significant way?

 If a player makes the Sign of the Cross going up to the huddle, is that unsportsmanlike? When does it cross into unsportsmanlike territory?

One of the benefits of my Catholic education was that I could display or not display my faith whenever I wanted.  Public schools, understandably, have to steer clear of favoring one religion over another. 

I’m guessing that’s why rules like this were set up, but it doesn’t mean it wasn’t a blown call.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.