FanDuel - WFBC

December 02, 2010

High School Running Back Penalized for Gesture to God: After scoring a touchdown in a Washington state high school playoff game Monday, Ronnie Hastie took a knee and pointed to the heavens in a quick gesture to God, drawing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty (video). "I'll just have to change it up and not make as big of a statement, I guess," Hastie said. "The refs are in charge."

posted by rcade to football at 07:57 AM - 34 comments

mwa ha ha!! My war on god has started just as planned! This is just one part of my two-pronged attack. The other is the war on xmas! mwa ha ha!!

posted by NoMich at 08:10 AM on December 02

You're late to the game on the xmas conflict. Major retailers started shelling North Korea right after Halloween.

posted by beaverboard at 08:23 AM on December 02

Stevie Johnson says God was to blame, anyway.

posted by Bonkers at 08:26 AM on December 02

This is why the authorities have never found D.B. Cooper. Too busy bringing the law down on the God-fearing high school kids of the region.

posted by beaverboard at 08:30 AM on December 02

Things bring to memory: I've always wondered what the reaction would be to an NFL coach wearing a sign of Islam or a player kneeling down towards Mecca as a sign to Allah after a TD.

posted by jmd82 at 08:55 AM on December 02

Things bring to memory: I've always wondered what the reaction would be to an NFL coach wearing a sign of Islam or a player kneeling down towards Mecca as a sign to Allah after a TD.

I don't think you're going to find a close analog to this particular ostentatious demonstration of religiosity among Muslims. It's an obnoxious behavior that Christians seem to have a lock on.

Am I alone in thinking that "point to heavens" is a bit of an understatement when it comes to describing the gesture? Looking at the picture in the article, the guy took a knee and a pose out of "The Ten Commandments". From the article:

Hastie said he asked the ref why he was penalized, and the ref responded that Hastie wasn't supposed to draw attention to himself.

"That wasn't the point (of the gesture), so I guess I was a little confused," Hastie said.

Yes, you were a little confused, youngster. If your relationship with God is important to you, perhaps it's time you gave some thought for who (and what) that gesture really serves. Maybe you'll have enough insight to thank that ref one day.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:05 AM on December 02

Last line of story: Tumwater will face Archbishop Murphy in the final

Wonder if the next opponent will draw an automatic unsportsmanlike penalty on every play for being named after a Catholic priest.

To the LBB commentary, all I can say is: Oh, my God!

posted by graymatters at 10:02 AM on December 02

perhaps it's time you gave some thought for who (and what) that gesture really serves

While I wouldn't do it personally as I always felt petty bringing God into things like football, SOME would view it as a proud display of your Christian faith. I can't speak for the man himself, but the gesture in and of itself isn't necessarily a selfish gesture..it could be the exact opposite...as if to show "I'm not ashamed of my relationship with God, I'll show it right here in front of thousands".

Or, to quote the player himself "To honor my Lord because I play for him. I give him the glory because he's the one that gives me the strength." Nothing self-serving about that, if that's what he believes.

posted by bdaddy at 10:19 AM on December 02

bdaddy, I thought one of the tenets of Christianity was humility. Doesn't a vaunting, ostentatious "proud display of your Christian faith" rather fly in the face of that?

I can't speak for the man himself, but the gesture in and of itself isn't necessarily a selfish gesture..it could be the exact opposite...as if to show "I'm not ashamed of my relationship with God, I'll show it right here in front of thousands".

That sentiment would carry more weight with me if Christians weren't a privileged majority in the US. It's not like Christians are being repressed and thrown to the lions here.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:41 AM on December 02

I don't find this to be unsportsmanlike, but I don't know the specifics of how the league is run. If the standard is nothing but handing the ball to the ref, then yes, the penalty's right. If not, however, let the guy point at the sky ... for God's sake.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Or, to quote the player himself "To honor my Lord because I play for him. I give him the glory because he's the one that gives me the strength." Nothing self-serving about that, if that's what he believes.

There is if he doesn't pull a Steve Johnson when he fumbles by standing up and pointing to his ass.

I also wonder about other gestures. If you're going to let pointing to the sky stand, how can you disallow other gestures? It's not the referee's job to interpret the intentions of every player individually, is it?

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:51 AM on December 02

... I thought one of the tenets of Christianity was humility.

I think the compulsion to proselyte blows that out of the water. Adherents don't convert themselves.

posted by rcade at 10:52 AM on December 02

Things bring to memory: I've always wondered what the reaction would be to an NFL coach wearing a sign of Islam or a player kneeling down towards Mecca as a sign to Allah after a TD.

d00d, Singletary is totally into true Norwegian black metal now.

posted by NoMich at 11:17 AM on December 02

For the sake of consistency, if a player does something after a touchdown that violates the "ostentatious display" rules, they should be called on it. Motive shouldn't be a factor in this case. Whether the player's intention was to draw attention to himself or not is not and should not be relevant.

The rule itself is kind of questionable, but if the rule is on the books, allowing this particular gesture for this particular reason could lead to a slippery slope of players making a wider variety of gestures and claiming impunity for religious purposes - or players with absolutely no religious intent making the same gesture since they know that particular gesture is legal.

Of course, as with nearly all slippery slope arguments, this one could be completely fallacious, but the refs are making their lives (and to a large extent the players' lives) easier by being consistent on this rule.

Now if they'd only be consistent about what is considered an in-bounds reception, life would be perfect.

posted by Joey Michaels at 02:01 PM on December 02

bdaddy, I thought one of the tenets of Christianity was humility.

there are lots of tenets...another one happens to be open displays of faith, at least for some religions/sects/whatever you call it.

Besides, I don't see what him standing on his knee and pointing to the sky has to do with being modest. As I said, if he believes what he said, then he wasn't doing it to serve his own ego..in fact the opposite...he was doing it to let everyone know he doesn't take credit for his achievements..he gives credit to God for all of them. What does that have to do with showing humility, if that is what he believes? (Again, I'm not saying this guy WASN'T showing off, I don't know this kid...I'm just saying the act itself doesn't mean he was).

posted by bdaddy at 02:28 PM on December 02

by the way, I think the flag was correct...it's in the rules and as long as they call it consistently, then no issue. I think the coach and player both have said the same thing (or another article seemed to suggest it anyways).

Next time he should hand the ball to the ref, come over to the sideline, THEN kneel and point if he wants to. Just like Icky used to do with his shuffle :-)

posted by bdaddy at 02:30 PM on December 02

Me thinks Ronnie Hastie is going to have a nice week-long tour of the conservative- and religious-networks.

posted by grum@work at 03:16 PM on December 02

there are lots of tenets...another one happens to be open displays of faith, at least for some religions/sects/whatever you call it.

Even in places where such displays are unwelcome or obnoxious or violate the separation of church and state?

(Yeah, I know, for some believers none of that matters a damn if they feel "called on" to "witness" or proselytize...but we don't live in a theocracy, yet)

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:08 PM on December 02

Given the kid's statement: "I'll just have to change it up and not make as big of a statement, I guess," Hastie said. "The refs are in charge" I think he's handling it exactly as he should.

I know a player on my son's team had a similar circumstance and now he hands the ball the ref, and as he's running off the field he quickly points up, never breaks stride and no one else joins him in doing so. never gets flagged for it.

Just to add my two cents to the side discussion going on, my biggest fear would be that the player was doing this as a way to appease the coach. During part of my high school football days, the head coach was a born-again type and it was widely known that if you didn't attend the "voluntary" Christian Athlete sessions that your playing time would be limited. Guys that absolutely didn't give a crap about what was being discussed at the sessions showed up just for the credit of doing so.

posted by dviking at 04:55 PM on December 02

"I'm not ashamed of my relationship with God, I'll show it right here in front of thousands".

That's about the him, not God; by a score of 3-1.

posted by Miles1996 at 04:55 PM on December 02

I am amazed that a simple show of faith can lead to discussions of separation of church and state, claims of being forced, proselytyzing, and a privileged majority. You are so worried about someone else expressing their belief, but have no problem expressing your own. The problem appears to be that their belief is not your belief. And making up quotes to justify a position. At least I don't see that quote in the story I read?

As far as to whether it was a violation of the rules, the player said he has done it after every touchdown and never had a problem. So if it is against the rules, it is apparently the first time it was actually enforced.

posted by graymatters at 06:31 PM on December 02

As far as to whether it was a violation of the rules, the player said he has done it after every touchdown and never had a problem. So if it is against the rules, it is apparently the first time it was actually enforced.

Well, then, that's a problem of consistency. It's against the rules. Why he did it doesn't matter one jot to me. Whether its been properly enforced before also doesn't matter. Bad refs in that case. Its against the rules no matter why he did it.

posted by Joey Michaels at 07:32 PM on December 02

graymatters:

You are so worried about someone else expressing their belief, but have no problem expressing your own.

So, what's my belief? What's my religion? What God do I pray to, and when, and how?

And making up quotes to justify a position. At least I don't see that quote in the story I read?

What quotation did I make up?

As far as to whether it was a violation of the rules, the player said he has done it after every touchdown and never had a problem. So if it is against the rules, it is apparently the first time it was actually enforced.

Yeah, sometimes it goes that way that a rule doesn't get enforced, until...someone sees a violation, says "That's a violation", and does what they're charged to do and enforces it. It's not clear if other players making other gestures were given a pass prior to that time, or if just he was, or just players making touchdown-for-Jesus gestures, or what.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:52 PM on December 02

So, what's my belief? What's my religion? What God do I pray to, and when, and how?

I really don't give a shit what your religion is, but your belief apparently is that nobody should be allowed to express their own.

What quotation did I make up?

You did not make up any quotation that I know of, but "I'm not ashamed of my relationship with God, I'll show it right here in front of thousands"? Sometimes it's not all about you.

someone sees a violation, says "That's a violation", and does what they're charged to do and enforces it

Nowhere in the story does it really say that a gesture of some sort is against the rules. It only says that the ref told the player he is not supposed to draw attention to himself. But several in this thread have said it is clearly against the rules. I have not seen the rules, so they might be right. But to me it just looks like an assumption or a justification. In the NFL, it would be against the rules; not because of the finger pointed upwards but because of going to a knee. But this was not an NFL game.

posted by graymatters at 12:56 AM on December 03

graymatters, if you're going to redefine the discussion to make it be about how you think things should be, this isn't going to go very far.

posted by yerfatma at 08:48 AM on December 03

I always figured the guys who score without pointing to Yahweh or Jesus or whatever soft-hearted gods inhabit the upper atmosphere were adherents of the cult of Crom, who reveals his grim visage only when men offer him a blood feast in a welter of gore. These fat-land gods, with the leisure to follow sport, are appropriate for silky wallowers and silly games, not sinew, steel, and valor.

posted by Hugh Janus at 09:07 AM on December 03

if you're going to redefine the discussion to make it be about how you think things should be,

Right, because it's only important how others think it should be (addressing a wall without ears).

posted by graymatters at 10:16 AM on December 03

but we don't live in a theocracy, yet)

We're either turning into theocracy or there's a war on Christmas. I can't decide. It's certainly one of those two extremes from what I hear.

posted by tron7 at 10:56 AM on December 03

"I'm not ashamed of my relationship with God, I'll show it right here in front of thousands".

That's about the him, not God; by a score of 3-1.

"God is so important, God has given me strength, You should be aware that God was the reason for my TD".

There, I fixed it for you...3-1 God.

(it was a made up quote to make a point, didn't realize it was going to be taken as "gospel")

posted by bdaddy at 11:44 AM on December 03

God hates my team.

posted by THX-1138 at 03:02 PM on December 03

I have no problem with the kid expressing his point of view off field or in a way that doesn't violate the rules of the game. There's examples of how he can do just that in this very thread.

Provided he doesn't mind getting that penalty, I don't have a problem with him making whatever statement he wants after a touchdown.

This isn't a suppression of religion or free speech issue. This is an unsportsmanlike conduct issue. Again, it doesn't matter why he did it or what message he was trying to send.

posted by Joey Michaels at 04:29 PM on December 03

We're either turning into theocracy or there's a war on Christmas. I can't decide. It's certainly one of those two extremes from what I hear.

It's almost as if it depends on perspective and agenda. Don't tell anyone, but I think people have started letting these things determine the lens through which they view the world.

posted by tahoemoj at 05:18 PM on December 03

I wonder what the Westboro Baptist Church thinks of all this.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:00 PM on December 03

Why?

posted by tselson at 12:25 AM on December 04

I wonder what the Westboro Baptist Church thinks of all this.

I know they hate Lady Gaga, which kind of sucks, because now I have to kind of like her.

posted by tahoemoj at 03:02 PM on December 04

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