Attorney: Deion Sanders’ Team Prayers Constitutionally Protected

New University of Colorado Head Football Deion Sanders addresses his team for the first time in December 2022. (Well Off Media YouTube channel screenshot)

It’s the Joe Kennedy debacle all over again, and everyone who pays attention to God’s justice knows what happened in that case. It was a huge victory for religious freedom in America.

And now, newly-hired University of Colorado football coach Deion Sanders is under scrutiny for leading his team in prayers, a practice that caught the eye of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, an atheist organization who recently filed a complaint against Sanders.

In case you missed it, Kennedy, a high school football coach in Bremerton, Washington, was vindicated by the United States Supreme Court after he was fired by his school for conducting post-game prayers with his team. The high court ruled that the school district could not interfere with or prohibit Kennedy from offering a prayer consistent with the Supreme Court’s opinion. The school district also cannot retaliate against Kennedy for “conduct that complies with the terms of the court order.”

Kennedy was to be reinstated to his position at Bremerton by the beginning of March.

This week, First Liberty Institute sent a letter to the University of Colorado Boulder and its leadership to correct the “misstatements regarding the requirements imposed by the First Amendment on public school employees’ religious expression.”

“The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that public school employees may engage in religious expression and exercise; therefore, public universities like CU may not target Coach Sanders (or other members of the football staff) for exercising constitutional rights on campus,” The First Liberty Institute letter reads.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a Wisconsin-based secularist legal group that advocates for a strict separation of church and state. The FFRF complained that, by praying with his team, Sanders engaged in “school-sponsored proselytizing.”

new cm coverimageFRFF, which files complaints against multitudes of Christian organizations and individuals every year, took issue with Sanders’ directing a staff member to lead players and coaches in a prayer before a team meeting. RFRFF cited the prayer as a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and an act of discrimination against non-Christians.

From 1982 to 1994, Bill McCartney served as Buffaloes’ head coach. McCartney was a forthright Christian who started Promise Keepers, a men’s organization that became one of the biggest moves of God in the history of the church. Promise Keepers is focused on helping men live with integrity.

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Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.

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