Columbus, TX – A “God” gesture disqualified a team at a Texas high school on Friday.
Columbus High School’s Mighty Cardinals track team wrapped up victory in the 4 x 100m relay, beating the rest of the field by a clear seven yards, when runner Derrick Hayes pointed to the sky to thank what he saw as a divine influence.
The God gesture disqualified the team after officials deemed it to be an example of “excessive celebration.” The track team will now miss out on the chance to compete at State level.
“Many in the town, including the runner’s father, called it a violation of religious freedom, but the school insists the gesture is not banned because it is religious, but because it is celebratory.”
As The Examiner notes, such gestures are common in sport, with many big-name stars across all sports pointing to the sky to thank what they view as divine intervention; some even openly pray.
A god gesture disqualifying a team is certainly unusual, and is likely to spark further debates about religious freedom.
You can see the celebration that led to the Columbus track team getting disqualified below. Do you think the team should have been kicked out of the competition for incorporating a religious ritual into their performance, or should true religious freedom permit such gestures? Sound off in the comments!