Football Should Be A Sport Where Even Religious Tolerance Is Common

By Gregory Moore
Updated: August 31, 2006

SAN ANTONIO — When religion and football mix, supposedly the sport should be able to embrace the faith and help the football player grow stronger.

Yet three former New Mexico State football players have filed a federal civil rights suit against the school. Their suit claims that the three players were removed from the football team because they were Muslim.

Sports and religion have always been a precarious marriage. Prayer is often at team practices, and is also said before and after games. Yet it is hard to believe that a school the size of New Mexico State.

What’s even worse is the fact that when asked about the lawsuit, two of the plaintiffs waived off questions when asked after practice. However in the limited space, let’s look at something about university life; even life for someone who practices the Muslim faith. At many schools, including New Mexico State, they have interfaith activities and clubs.

If there is one thing that a university or college has that goes beyond any experience one may have, it is the experience of learning how to express yourself and also how to co-mingle with those who may not have your same beliefs in society. Religion is just an extension of our society.

Probably what is so troubling is the fact that ACLU seems to be so quick to jump into this case without really investigating the claims. Imagine if the ACLU jumps on this case, which they have, and it is found out in court that there was nothing inappropriate with the dismissal of the students.

What if it is found out that maybe there was something that the these former students did in violating team rules and that led to their dismissal? Will the ACLU look at the school and those involved and are ‘man’ enough to admit their mistake? Or will they do like they normally do and just say, “well we thought we had a good case”.

And if the school was wrong in their procedures of dismissing these students, will they in turn admit their wrongdoing or will they use the same excuse, “well we thought we had a good case”.

One final note and this is for the young men at the central battle of this lawsuit. These young men and their families need to realize that first off, collegiate sports aren’t a right. That’s a privilege. You don’t get college credit for it. You don’t get a degree in it. It doesn’t help you obtain a degree.

It’s a stepping stone at letting you enjoy what your child has been doing probably since he was six or seven years old. But to think that a college has a ‘civil right’ (so to speak) into letting him play football is the biggest farce in the Black community.

Also, when it comes to the Muslim religion, the friends I know who are true, devout Muslim, are taught about acceptance of others, the inclusion of the surroundings around you and the understanding that you cannot force yourself into a situation that is not of your making. True religion, no matter what the denomination, is not about going out and having a ‘jihad’ or crusade.

Now I’m not saying that these young men are the bad people. Actually nobody mentioned here are bad per se. But this is a time for learning and isn’t that what going to a university is all about?

Whatever the outcome in this case, I hope that all parties take away some lessons that will benefit them in the future and that every member of this situation becomes a better person for those around them.

May God, Allah, Jesus and Muhammad help and guide everyone in this situation to a righteous conclusion.

HOOVER HAS NO BUSINESS BEING ON TV Hoover, Alabama has allowed Viacom to come into its community and film a reality show about its high school football team. Nice going folks. Way to take ordinary teenage years that are already full of enough problems and turn this into the next Real World episode.

It was bad enough that ESPN did it with a high school football team and they were wrong when they did that. It was wrong for NBC to want to put a pretty successful book, a fairly successful (albeit Hollywood ending type) movie and turn that into what I really do believe will be the worse television football show on free television in a decade.

But this community, its parents and everybody else have thrown these kids under the bus? Why do I say that? Because society is greedy, needy, smutty, diabolical and down right ruthless in their consumption of ‘reality’ television and folks, reality television IS NOT REAL.

I just don’t know how we fall for this mess. Look at the upcoming season of “Survivor’. They are going to have the tribes assembled by race and pit one against the other.

Well hell, why don’t we just bring back Jim Crow, scrap all the advances of the Civil Rights movement and basically say that Plessey v. Ferguson, the famous Drew Scott case and those of the Amistad trials of 1839 – 1840. Let’s forget that Caesar Chavez and many others who were championing the rights for Hispanics.

Let’s basically take the constitution and throw it into the Atlantic Ocean. In case many don’t know about true survival, maybe the producers of that show need to talk to those who lived during those times of segregation, known openness of racial tensions and the ilk. I think they have seen that show before and they don’t want a repeat.

But this isn’t about a show that is crossing the social acceptance lines because with this show being filmed in Hoover, those lines have already been erased. MTV is living proof why I will not let my nephews watch that channel.

This is the very reason why my girlfriend and her family have pretty much banned that station in their households.

Because MTV wants to make this a reality show and they think that by showing girls being sluts with a star running back, because they think that America is used to such perversions, they think it’s okay.

Well it’s not okay and the FCC needs to stop these shows from being aired. Parents who think this is okay can kiss my butt on this one. Holler at me when your son is about to be imprisoned for about ten years because he thinks his celebrity status can get him into that girl’s panties.

Think that won’t happen because he’s on a show his friends watch? B.S. Ask the former girlfriends of Lawrence Phillips what happened to them. Go ask any girl at All American H.S. what was said about her because she didn’t ‘put out’ with the star player. This stuff happens every day and parents don’t know about it (or they look away).

Where are the parents in all of this? Is it that important that your town or suburb be in that kind of spotlight? What kind of examples of moral decency are you displaying to the rest of America if you are allowing your children to be a part of this filth.

Yes it’s filth.

Any network that comes in and wants to sensationally shoot the lives of people is as filthy as it can get. We’re not talking about a decent documentary that shows this team going to a state championship. This is a soap opera.

Way to go Hoover, Alabama. Way to go. Thank you for giving MTV another vehicle to subliminally corrupt somebody else’s children.