Two Cents: Should Principles Lead a Coach to Bail on His Team? (10/28/2005)

(I worked as a Sports Editor from late 2004 until the summer of 2006. This is one of the many columns I was able to save that were originally published in The Sun-Times of Heber Springs, Arkansas.)


Imagine if you played high school football and you were on a team that in the previous season won a championship. As you were getting set to defend your title, your coach quits hours before a big game because he wanted to take on the constitution of our United States.

That’s what happened in Brunswick, New Jersey last week. Coach Marcus Borden resigned after being told he couldn’t lead his team in prayer for pregame meals and before games.

Borden had been at East Brunswick for 23 years and led his team to a Central Jersey Group IV championship last season.

What he was doing was against the law since a school representative can’t constitutionally initiate prayer. Some players were made uncomfortable by this and complained to the school.

The school didn’t force Borden to resign, he made the decision to quit on his team based on principalities. He also said he isn’t likely to come back despite 50 of his players showing up at his door asking him to return.

Why bail on your team hours before a game just to prove a point to the government and the city of Brunswick? If there are people uncomfortable, you can pray to yourself, it’s called a moment of silence.

I have principles that tell me to quit my job at the paper and pursue a music career. But you don’t see me doing it. I’ve got a family to help support, doesn’t he? Is his wife down with this?

I’m not against prayer or religion. I guess what I’m trying to get my mind around is a question of why does everyone have to be so thin-skinned?

Why didn’t those kids who were uncomfortable go to their coach and voice their concerns instead of running to the school district? If the man had been there 23 years, you have to believe he was leading his team in prayer all that time.

Why must the coach push his beliefs on children when he doesn’t know their religious or spiritual background? Is it that important of an issue to just quit?

I guarantee you this. His resignation will do nothing to reverse that law. He’s just brining attention to himself, the school and the players caught in the middle who just want to try and win some football games.

Didn’t we leave England so long ago because we didn’t want religion forced down our throats? Wasn’t that the basis of keeping church and state separate?

If Borden wants to mix religion with football, maybe he should put in his resume to some private school affiliated with the Catholic church.

In the meantime, what about the players for East Brunswick? They were obviously shaken up after their coach quit, as evidenced by the thrashing they took.

Besides, doesn’t our Lord have better things to do than watch or help decide the outcomes of football games? Unless of course it’s Notre Dame.

Categories: Football, sports

Tags: , , , , ,

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