Highschool soccer participant ought to eat pork as punishment, violate his religion | Beth Steinbrenner | Type atheist
Two weeks ago, a 17-year-old football player from McKinley Senior High School in Ohio decided not to take part in optional training. When he went to the next workout four days later, he was punished by the coaches for telling him he had to eat a whole pepperoni pizza in front of their eyes – and if he didn’t, the rest of his team would have to do extra exercises .
In addition to the insulting aspect of this punishment and the threats by these coaches to punish a player’s teammates if he does not give in to their demands, there was another pressing problem: the player is a Hebrew Israelite, part of a religious movement that, among other things, prohibits eating of pork. The coaches supposedly knew that too, as the player had avoided pork at previous team dinners.
The student was allowed to remove the hot peppers, but as any vegetarian can say, that’s not enough. The residue still remains.
Now the player’s parents plan to sue the district, all eight football coaches (including head coaches) Marcus Wattley) have been put on hold pending investigation, and everyone is trying to find out who thought it was a good idea.
According to [the family’s lawyer Ed] Gilbert, The 17-year-old, who he said has already received college football scholarship offers, is in therapy for the episode, which was reported by The Canton Repository, a local newspaper, last week.
“I don’t know what that coach had in mind – I mean, in today’s society you respect people’s religious beliefs,” said Mr. Gilbert. “You don’t make fun of them or make them a problem and I just don’t know where this coach’s head is.”
Regardless of your belief in their religion or religion in general, it should go without saying that a public school soccer coach has nothing to do to compel a student to break their beliefs. And what for? How does it teach him a valuable lesson in forcing him to eat something his religion forbids? And why is skipping a voluntary practice worth a penalty at all? Besides the one assistant coach who apparently informed the district about it, did anyone else comment? Have the other players been told about it? Did you participate?
Much information has not yet been published.
At a meeting of the school committee during the evening it could be determined whether the coaches face further disciplinary measures.
(Image via Shutterstock)