Atheists attack Deion Sanders over ‘egregious’ prayer

The University of Colorado’s new head football coach may want to engage in “religious exercises” with the team’s members and staff, but an atheist group which claims to support the separation of church and state wants the university to censor any such activities of Deion Sanders.

In a letter, last week to the University of Colorado Boulder Chancellor Phil DiStefano, the Freedom From Religion Foundation alleged that Sanders had been engaging in “inappropriate and unconstitutional actions” by “engaging in religious exercises with players and staff members.”

“It is our understanding that on Dec. 20, a staff member led other staff members in a Christian prayer to start an official meeting,” FFRF’s letter read in part. “More egregiously, on Jan. 16, Coach Sanders directed a staff member to lead players and coaches in Christian prayer before a team meeting.”

The atheist group in the letter singled out one of Coach Prime’s prayers with the football team.

“Lord, we thank You for this day, Father, for this opportunity as a group. Father, we thank You for the movement that God has put us in place to be in charge of. We thank You for each player here, each coach, each family. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.”

The letter asserted that numerous legal precedents, including a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, prohibited such religious activities in educational settings and suggested that student-athletes may feel pressured to participate even if doing so conflicts with their religious convictions.

Sanders took over as Colorado’s coach in December and has been asked to concede to the group’s demands.

The university also asserted that Sanders was “very receptive to this training and came away from it with a better understanding of the University of Colorado’s policies.”

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