Football players kneeling to make a political statement is no longer anything out of the ordinary.
But this time it was.
And an entire football team took a knee. But this time you’ll be cheering for the reason why.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed several complaints over faculty and staff leading prayers at events held for Cookeville and Upperman High Schools in Putnam County, Tennessee.
School officials responded by banning faculty and staff – and that includes coaches – from leading prayers at high school football games.
But the students of faith refused to submit to these anti-religious decrees.
After Upperman defeated Stoneman High School 27-9 on Friday night, players all took a knee at midfield as parents joined in and the students led the post-game prayer.
“After the game, players and cheerleaders that choose to will be on the field praying on their own. A group of parents will be going out on the field to support them. We will join hands and encircle them from a distance as a sign of protection and solidarity in choosing to continue to pray,” a parent named Dustin Whitefield told WZTV.
What a shot. Student-led prayer in Putnam County, TN. https://t.co/JOAVnWOTmD
— Jennifer Waddell (@JenniferWFox17) September 20, 2021
Players from opposing teams kneeling in prayer is not an uncommon sight at the conclusion of NFL games.
The players will gather at midfield and offer thanks to God for giving them the strength to make it through the game.
In this case, the players led the movement to pray.
The school district only said faculty and staff could not lead a prayer.
And this was one-time when political activism was welcome on the football field.
Sports with Balls will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this ongoing story.