The third of three consequential Supreme Court decisions was announced today. By a 6-3 majority, the court overruled lower court decisions. The final ruling from the Supreme Court was that a football coach was wrongfully fired for repeatedly conducting prayers, joined by some or most of his players, on the fifty-yard line following games. Though I’m not opposed to football, or to prayers, a very public display of a school’s team praying in front of a crowd is clearly a violation of the separation of church and state.
This decision opens up a large can of worms, and the play call is worse than attempting a double reverse without any effective blocking. Knowing what we do about implicit bias, and projecting forward to the coach’s reinstatement (coaching and praying next year), if a particular player had a decent but not remarkable game and chose not to participate in post-game prayers, would anyone know for certain the reasons for a demotion? Wouldn’t the suspicion be pervasive: not praying = less playing time? Projecting a few seasons in the future, if one particular faith, or set of beliefs, is recognized as acceptable for the team, would agnostic players, or players of other faiths decide to transfer out?
One more can of worms: what does the school district do when a local cult of Satanists show up and ask for equal time on the fifty-yard-line?