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December 2nd, 2010
04:22 PM ET

Polarizing Penalty

Do you agree with the penalty?

The referee flagged the running back for excessive celebration and said he was calling attention to himself; the running back said he was calling attention to Jesus.  The high school player says he's been doing this all year without being penalized, but now that he's been flagged, he plans to stop now and just point to the sky once he's off the field.

Would you?

Carl Azuz, Anchor


Filed under: Feedback • News Coverage
soundoff (772 Responses)
  1. Kylee

    I definetly wouldn't do it again on the field! But off the field isn't a scoring spot for the referees eyes. I would keep doing it.

    December 2, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  2. Hannah

    no i wouldnt because if i was doing it all year and i just got a flag for it i wouldnt stop doing it.

    December 2, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  3. Paloma

    I think he should have got a penalty the first time he did that.

    December 2, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  4. Paloma

    That could of offended some ones religion

    December 2, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  5. Rachel

    If I had been flagged for pointing at the sky I would have been furious but would not plan to do it again. If I had been doing it at recent games and not been flagged I would have stuck up for myself and did something about it.

    December 2, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  6. abigail

    if i had been flagged for pointing at the sky i would have been a bit upset but would not do it again

    December 2, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  7. Paloma

    You can do it off the field but not on the field , just wait to do it later.

    – Paloma

    December 2, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  8. Annette

    That's crazy!! He's just being grateful for scoring! They don't have a reason to do that to him. That is so unfair.

    December 2, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  9. Paloma

    It would hurt youre team and people around the world with different religions

    – Paloma

    December 2, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  10. Kathy

    I'll do that if I can but if the refree stops me, I think I shouldn't do that anyamore. Though it's furious and alittle weird..I mean, freedom of religion!

    December 2, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  11. Brendon

    If anything I wouldn't do it again. I even play football and after we score we sometimes celebrate a bit but we don't make a big deal about it. So yeah I think that he should have been penalized. Still if he hasn't been penalized for it before, then why should he be flagged for it after he did it once, and finally because no one knew what it was supposed to mean before that specific game.

    December 2, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  12. Autumn

    I believe it is his right to point to the sky if he so pleases. He has every right to thank his god to for his abilities and for a chance to play the game. If the referees were going to flag it, then they needed to do it in the first game to create consistency.

    December 2, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  13. Mikey

    i wouldnt stop doing it because there is no rule in the book that says i cant.... religious or not..

    December 2, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  14. vanna

    i think he has the right to do what he wants but if he did something inappropiate then he should get flagged.

    December 2, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  15. Xavier

    I agree with the penalty to a certain extent but it is a little to sensitive,what I mean by that is the littlest thing counts such as a simple point to the sky ,however the things that some football players do that take up time out of the game NEEDS to be pentalized.

    December 2, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  16. Bryan

    Yes i would do it again. Because i am having fun playing the game. It's like they are taking the fun out of Football. Sports are all about being competitive and having fun

    December 2, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  17. Aaron

    I would continue pointing to the sky, I wouldn't let this stop me. He's done it all season and why should he just stop now because of one referee? If I was the athlete, I would carry this referee to the Board of Education, because he has no place to penalize or flag me for drawing attention to Jesus!

    December 2, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  18. Steven

    If I get flagged I wouldn't give up just because I get flagged because then my reputation would go down the hill

    December 2, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  19. Kayla

    I Think If I Was In His Shoes I Probably Won't Do It Again. IF He Is Really Religious Then He Should Of Done It Outside Of The Game I'm Religious To But I Wouldn't Pf Preached It At A Football Game. I Mean Come on seriously people are focused on the game than the preaching of the word.

    December 2, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  20. Adam

    I think celebrating when you score a TD is alright but if you go over the top then there should be a penalty.

    December 2, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  21. Trissy

    I don't agree with this penalty. It's a part of his religion. I don't think it's fair to penalize him for something religion-related.

    December 2, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  22. Maksim

    I think he should still celebrate. I mean, if he celebrates it shows how happy he is and it makes him play better. But he could bring the celebration a little down to a hi-five and a scream " We Rock".

    December 2, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  23. Keith

    The penalty in football is intended to be for excessive celebration. Nothing about this student's actions seem excessive. The penalty is not only unfair to the students, but also to the game of football. Referees should let students celebrate victories in a respectful manner even if they disagree with the religious nature of their celebration.

    December 2, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  24. Stanley

    It would do it because it is not right to call a flag at pointing in the air in the first place and thats not to much.

    December 2, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  25. Selena

    After being penalized, I wouldn't do it again on the field. But the running back should have got a penalty the first time he did that. It could offended someone's religion.

    December 2, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  26. Erik

    i think that is just stupid!!! its called freedom of expression! if he wants to do it, let him.

    December 2, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  27. Eric

    Doing a quick little touchdown dance is fine in the interval of plays, as long as they aren't taunting people on the other team. A tounchdown dance is part of football and nothing gets the crowd going like a celebration.

    December 2, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  28. Kasey

    I think they shouldn't be able to stop him from doing that because he should be allowed freedom of religion. He's only being thankful. Him pointing at the sky does not have anything to do with anyone else's religions. He isn't stopping anyone from expressing their religions, so why should they be able to stop him?

    December 2, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  29. Estefany a.

    I think that if i was that person i would defintily do that all year if i only got one flag also it's cool!

    December 2, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  30. milly

    the referees should not let then do that! other people who don't believe in Christ might get offended! i believe that you can celebrate but not by calling out Jesus' name.

    December 2, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
  31. Lilli

    No He shouldn't have been flagged for his celbration! That isn't right if he has been doing it all year. If the coach is okay with it , then the refree shouldn't care. It didn't offend anybody then it is find.. The ref. was wrong to do that.

    December 2, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  32. Logen

    I would just pray for Jesus that does not happen

    December 2, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
  33. Ethan

    I don't think it's fair to flag somebody for something like that. I'm a christian myself, and I believe that freedom of religion is important.

    December 2, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
  34. Casey

    I wouldn't stop. I would do it some other place that isn't on the feild. The ref shouldn't penalize someone for doing that if he isn't trying to bring attention to himself and if he hasn't been flagged in the past for it.

    December 2, 2010 at 7:50 pm |
  35. Jayden

    I surely would do it again.It's not like he was doing it as a school supported thing. He was the only one doing it and he should not be denied that right by a referee

    December 2, 2010 at 8:10 pm |
  36. Ashley

    I say that everyone has a right of celabrating and doing this with there religion if they please. Last time i knew football referees were calling penalties on football not how you celabrate. People in the NFL do it and so should they, Even if you do use religion. Its just not right.

    December 2, 2010 at 8:12 pm |
  37. Sammie

    Why on Earth would someone do that? I'mnot penalizing him for his religion views, its just its not the right time to show it.

    December 2, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
  38. Sam

    This is an outrage, what i dont under stand is "why do the NFL players get to do a celebration?" I mean what if he had a family member "god forbid" died and they were his motivation. But I do understand why he did do that to maybe teach kids not to brag maybe. I don't know but I thought he was able to do that.

    December 2, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
  39. mefferz

    i think that it is uncalled for the referee to flag him for exsessively celebrating their was no harm done he did not hurt anyone whats the problem??

    December 2, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
  40. Akshay

    I think that it soundn`t be a penalty to pray after a touchdown

    December 2, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  41. chris

    If i were the running back and i did the point to the sky I would say "i have been doing this all year why flag me now?" if I were very religious i would call him atheistic

    December 2, 2010 at 8:30 pm |
  42. Koehler

    Excessive celebration yeah right he probably was excited I mean if he said it was for Jesus then let him excessivly celebarate all he wants.

    December 2, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
  43. kyle

    if i was flagged for doing a quick prayer to god, i would keep doing it. if someone wants to flag me for praying to god then good for them,they ain't stopping me.

    December 2, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
  44. Elizabeth

    I think it was wrong to call it a penalty because I would be happy and thanking God too if I did something great. They shouldn't be calling penalties on things like that, when he did nothing wrong.

    December 2, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
  45. ethan

    this is not for calling attention to himself it is calling attention to Jesus the one who made this possible for him

    December 2, 2010 at 8:40 pm |
  46. Makayla

    Keep doing it especially since it's not downing the other team.

    December 2, 2010 at 8:49 pm |
  47. Ben

    I think he has EVERY RIGHT to do that on-field. He took two seconds to say a prayer on the football field, and gets penalized? If they were planning to penalize him, they should have done it the first time, to prevent it from happening again. If the kid wants to express himself that way for a second after a touchdown, let him do it! Don't call him on it.

    December 2, 2010 at 8:55 pm |
  48. Richmond

    I would still do it because that player's touchdown celebration did not taunt any other players or was a very extreme celebration.

    December 2, 2010 at 8:59 pm |
  49. Ashley

    no i do not agree the penalty has no excessive celebration he is just praying and people have freedom of religion , but i would most likely pray off to the side next time.

    December 2, 2010 at 9:04 pm |
  50. Kabir

    This is horrible Carl, I don't think that this is very fair. This player earned his touchdown. You cannot take away from his hard work just because he is religious. This is a breach of the first amendment of the United States Constitution. He is entitled to his own religious views and practices. The referee has no right to flag him for praying.
    -Kabir

    December 2, 2010 at 9:09 pm |
  51. Karthik

    It is wrong as we can drive attention to the god. If before he was not penalized before, why is he being penalized now. Either he should have been penalized when he did it the first time or he should continue it. If it was me, I would do it again.

    December 2, 2010 at 9:09 pm |
  52. Rahul

    I would keep doing it, on and off the field. By celebrating I will only take like 5-10 seconds of the game. And so what if I'm attracting attention to myself, what harm does that do.

    December 2, 2010 at 9:10 pm |
  53. JH

    i think this is really unfair because it is freedom of religion. He was just being thankful to God. It is unfair to penalize him.

    December 2, 2010 at 9:10 pm |
  54. Ashley

    the penalty makes a little sense but i wouldn't have penalized him for praying if i were the referee. i would probably do it after the touch down like to the side or something. also if they were going to penalize him they should have done it the first time!

    December 2, 2010 at 9:11 pm |
  55. SunHae

    I think it is unfair how he got a penalty now after all those times of praying all along. This is someone's religion and a way to show how grateful they are to whom they worship. He should be allowed to worship and be thankful since it just take a few brief moments.

    December 2, 2010 at 9:11 pm |
  56. Kane

    This penalty is not fair because he was thanking God for the Touch Down, he shouldn't of gotten a penalty. If I was religious I might have done the same, but I wouldn't of done it at a game, I would have celebrated afterwards. It shouldn't of been a penalty because he had done it many times before hand, It was not fair, he should have been warned by his coach or his team-mates. If I was him, I wouldn't do it on the field but afterwards, I would celebrate my Touch Down or Victory after the game.

    December 2, 2010 at 9:12 pm |
  57. Hannah

    If I were to do that, then I would be yelling at the ref. Why would an player would want to do that? ! That is so STUPID!!!!!

    December 2, 2010 at 9:12 pm |
  58. Aaiz

    i think should not do it on the field. He should be able to celebrate if only he is practicing. If he want to celebrate his touch down, he can celebrate after the match.

    December 2, 2010 at 9:12 pm |
  59. MinJae

    i don't agree for penalizing for praying to Jesus. I think penalizing for praying for there religion can make people offende for their religion. And also it's Religious discrimination

    December 2, 2010 at 9:12 pm |
  60. Lara

    If I didn't get penalized the several times before, I would've stood up for myself in front of the referee, because there isn't anything in the rule book saying that I can't point to the sky after scoring a goal.

    December 2, 2010 at 9:13 pm |
  61. Tom

    I think that it should not be penalized because they should have there time to shine. If i didn't get penalized before i would of stood up for myself.

    December 2, 2010 at 9:13 pm |
  62. NamHoon

    He should not do that again, because it's opposing to the rule of the game. He should have penalty at the first time that he did.

    December 2, 2010 at 9:13 pm |
  63. Elliot

    I don't think he should have been penalized because players should be able to celebrate the way they want to, but to be safe, he shouldn't celebrate that way anymore.

    December 2, 2010 at 9:14 pm |
  64. Alex

    There are a lot of posts on here that say that could have offended someone's religion. That doesn't make sense. It's called freedom of speech and religion. Whoever doesn't believe could have just ignored him. The penalty was exaggerated. It's not like the player lifted up his shirt and started to yell. He celebrated in a toned down and respectful manner.

    December 2, 2010 at 9:14 pm |
  65. Justin

    I think its outrages. the fact that he actually got penalized is just mind blowing. He has every right to thank God for his touchdown and his abilities to play Football. The referee has no right to flag someone for trying to thank God.

    December 2, 2010 at 9:15 pm |
  66. Sarah

    I think he has the right to thank his god for scoring. People should have the right to thank their god. No one can tell you when to thank for god and when not to.

    December 2, 2010 at 9:15 pm |
  67. Yonathan

    I think it was wrong of the referee to do that because he was showing respect not attention.

    December 2, 2010 at 9:25 pm |
  68. Jesse

    I don't think it is reasonable. It is just his religion. What harm can it do?

    December 2, 2010 at 9:25 pm |
  69. Maya

    I think he has rights to express his religion so why stop him, I mean he wasn't doing anything really wrong, he was just prasing his god in puplic and I respect him for that. Also that i would keep doing it because people here can't tell me what to belive in.

    December 2, 2010 at 9:36 pm |
  70. Maisy

    No, that penalty should NOT have been called. If Ronnie wanted to celebrate, he should celebrate. I think that it's just recognized as, being joyful; having a spirit about making that touchdown. Ronnie was just expressing himself by his religion. We do live in a free country.

    December 2, 2010 at 9:38 pm |
  71. Ethan

    I was pretty mad when I saw what hapened there but I think he should have dropped the ball because then the play would be officially over. But knealing down after a touchdown, most of the players I have seen kneal after a touchdown. Why flag it now?

    December 2, 2010 at 9:44 pm |
  72. Mariah

    I think he shouldn't got flaged because most pro football players do that and If I were to get flaged that iwould be mad because the is making bad calls.

    December 2, 2010 at 9:48 pm |
  73. Emmie

    Some people may argue that the referee’s decision infringed upon the player’s freedom of religion and expression; however by playing in the league, he has voluntarily waived this right by agreeing to abide by the league’s rules. This player displayed excellent sportsmanship in realizing this and not disputing the call.

    December 2, 2010 at 9:57 pm |
  74. Sylvis

    If he was doing something that really offensive, like making rude gestures to other team or a stupid dance, then yes, he should be penalized...but as quick as he kneeled and pointed, then got, he shouldn't be penalized.

    December 2, 2010 at 9:59 pm |
  75. Doug

    As non-religious, even I think this is wrong. I understand this penalty but the kid hardly celebrated. I don't think this matter reflects on what he did religiously but rather that the ref just made a horrible call.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
  76. Greg

    I think the penalty wasn't fair because everyone gets exited after scoring a touchdown and does a some sort of short celebration dance, but you cant argue with the referee's calls.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
  77. Rachel

    Well first of all i wouldnt do that and the referees have no reason to penalize because people have rights and beleifs so its not fair to do that

    December 2, 2010 at 10:12 pm |
  78. Alexander

    I don't agree. The referee is taking away one of the basic rights of Americans, the right to have religon. This football player is just showing signs of his relegon.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:13 pm |
  79. Logen

    I wouldn't care if that happened to me. I would care for Jesus. Scoring a touchdown is fun, so let players celebrate. He is respecting Jesus. He is glad he got the touchdown.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  80. Westin

    I think he shouldn't have been penalized... He was only showing his respect to Jesus. Even if it weren't about Jesus, he still shouldn't be penalized... All he was doing was celebrating that he scored.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  81. Westin

    If i were flagged for pointing at the sky i'd be a little mad and think it were stupid and i'd keep doing it... Just not in front of the referee's eyes.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  82. Venezia

    I think that what the high school running back said and did could offend some people and the religion they believe in.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  83. Venezia

    I think that what the running back did and said could be offending to some people's religions. But it is his right to do and say what he wants and when he wants it. The ref shouldn't have flagged him just because he pointed to the sky.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  84. RobbyG

    The player shouldn't have been penalized for what he had done though his action could have affected other people's beliefs of religion. Well, even though he had make that mistake it would have been an accident. Next time, he should just think of praying or praising God on the sidelines with further notice instead of acting in a excessive celebratory action.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  85. Ben

    Why can't someone praise God? I've always been tought to praise God even if people are looking at you. So why is it wrong now.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:47 pm |
  86. Joesy

    It is completly unfair and un- american to stop a player from kneeling and touching the sky! People have freedom of religion and speech, which also includes movements! I would not stop doing this. Everyone deserves to celebrate their own way.

    December 2, 2010 at 11:13 pm |
  87. Elise

    Ok. Maybe it's not the best to show religious beliefs to your high school... especially people who don't believe the same thing. But, let's face it. Some people may not know what he's doing. To me, it looks like he is looking to the sky thankfully. And, at church, you don't get penalized for making an extra prayer. Let's hope that the high school checks the rule book.

    December 2, 2010 at 11:18 pm |
  88. Liam

    This call should not have been made. Ronnie just made a nice and simple gesture to God, it's not like he started to scream and run around. It's called freedom of speech and religion, we do live in a free country don't we?

    December 2, 2010 at 11:27 pm |
  89. Tyler

    I would have done the same to stop, but the ref. was completely disrespecting the right to freedom of religion.

    December 2, 2010 at 11:34 pm |
  90. Emma

    The referee who penalized him is crazy. He should be free to celebrate if he wants to. The referee needs to lay off. He's been doing this all season, and now he's penalizing him? It's really weird and not fair.

    December 2, 2010 at 11:40 pm |
  91. rebecca

    we all have a freedom of religion, which means that we can express it how ever we may feel. i think that i was unconstitutional.

    December 2, 2010 at 11:46 pm |
  92. Katie

    I think you should not be penalized for having certain religious beleifs. You should be able to do whatever you find neccisary to celebrate the touchdown (or other event). However, if it were me, I would have also accepted the penalty because the referee has the higher athority.

    December 2, 2010 at 11:53 pm |
  93. BryaN

    Everyone has their own beliefs when it comes to religion, he has the right to show that when he is off AND on the field. He is just paying his respects to the one that backs him up no mater if he is doing good or bad. The ref should have understood and respected this act of praying, for praying is ALLOWED in public and private schools, not allowing this is going against their own policies.

    December 2, 2010 at 11:56 pm |
  94. Austin

    There is no way I would stop kneeling and pointing at the sky if I scored, because it’s not really celebrating. If you are not jumping around like a idiot and causing a seen it shouldn’t be a big deal.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:18 am |
  95. Alex

    I don't think that the referee can penalize someone for just being religious. If that's who he is, then that's who he his.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:37 am |
  96. Alex

    This country was built on religion and free will. So why are we penalized for showing our religion and thanks? I highly disagree with the referees choice and i applaude the football player for not making a big deal out of it.Congrats on the touchdown!

    December 3, 2010 at 1:36 am |
  97. Rose

    I think the young man should be commended for his freedom of speech and giving the Lord God the glory and credit. We in America need to take back our liberties in our beliefs. This young man celebrated no worse than any other football player making a touchdown and doing a happy dance or whatever. This offends me that a ref makes a case out of something he has done all year. I think this ref needs to be punished for using poor judgement.

    December 3, 2010 at 4:10 am |
  98. Jon

    I'm sure if he were Muslim, people would have a different opinion and the majority would agree with the penalty.

    Plus, why do people really think a God cares about someone getting a touchdown? People are so self-absobed!

    December 3, 2010 at 4:11 am |
  99. Rose

    People around the world< this is USA we have rights we are in our home our country and we support too many others and have forgotten us. Back to the game, all other players celebrate with little dances, drop to the knee and jack the arm up and down, jumps etc. Point made.....

    December 3, 2010 at 4:12 am |
  100. Kevin

    It's really sad to see this as evidence of the values we are passing on to future generations... Also, let's use some common sense in officiating these games.. Ridiculous!

    December 3, 2010 at 4:16 am |
  101. Nancy

    Seems like there was also a issue regarding how long the player kept the ball after the touchdown. If that is why in part, he got the penalty, next time he should drop the ball and then give his thanks. I don't agree with the referee's call.

    December 3, 2010 at 4:19 am |
  102. Candi

    Isn't playing football basically "drawing attention to yourself" When a player makes a touchdown are not all eyes on them? To stop the touchdown celebrations by several team-mates is one thing but to say that a player who just made a touch down can't gesture is any way -as to draw attention to himself is ridiculous, the attention is already on him. I admire the boy who isn't afraid to show his feeling for what he believes in. This was a bad call by the ref and it's a shame they are taking the fun out of the game by all the stupid rules that have nothing to do with the game itself.

    December 3, 2010 at 4:50 am |
  103. Haylee

    I think this referee made a bad call on this one all the kid wanted to do is thank God that he got a touchdown. And isnt that a right.

    December 3, 2010 at 5:50 am |
  104. Hunter

    Any football player who scores a touchdown has an American right for the freedom of religion and speech to celebrate. The ref should have let it go if it was legal.

    December 3, 2010 at 5:58 am |
  105. josh

    they have the right to believe in a higher power. and if they want to announce they do its there right i shouldn't be a bad thing to do.when it because a bad thing to not b religious?and i thought this was america we have religious freedom like we do freedom of speak. thats one of the inalienable rights.

    December 3, 2010 at 7:01 am |
  106. Anonymous

    If he stops doing it in front of everyone on the field and waits to do it that's fine, just as long as he gives Jesus all the attention he deserves. I also think that if he always did it that way after a touchdown he shouldn't get penalized now.

    December 3, 2010 at 7:13 am |
  107. Fernando

    If he stops doing it in front of everyone on the field and waits to do it that's fine, just as long as he gives Jesus all the attention he deserves. I also think that if he always did it that way after a touchdown he shouldn't get penalized now.

    December 3, 2010 at 7:13 am |
  108. Camryn

    In my eyes, he was just being happy because he scored. It may offend some people, but I still don't think he was trying to hurt or offend ANYone... It's odd how they did'nt penilize him the first time around, though. Was it more rude this time? Just let him be. I don't think he meant anything.

    December 3, 2010 at 7:27 am |
  109. Kirsten

    Even not from a religious stand point the call was wrong.There was not excess celebration, the player was simply thanking God for letting him score a touchdown.There is nothing wrong with small gestures of celebration.The referees themselves have religious views and beliefs that they would not want infringed upon.

    December 3, 2010 at 7:56 am |
  110. Emma

    I honestly wouldn't have done it from the start. I don't like drawing attention to myself and I don't have to celebrate after every touchdown maybe after the game but no during.

    December 3, 2010 at 8:12 am |
  111. Emma

    I honestly wouldn't have done it from the start. I don't like to be the center of attention and I don't have to celebrate after every touchdown maybe after the game but not during.

    December 3, 2010 at 8:15 am |
  112. Colin

    That just isn't right. He wasn't excessive celebtrating. He was just giving thanks. That's Freedom of Religon. The Refs can't call that penalty.

    December 3, 2010 at 8:16 am |
  113. Flournory's Class

    We don't think he should have been penalized, because our country supports freedom of religion. However, we also believe he has to respect the rules of the game. Maybe he can continue to "celebrate" off the field or talk with his teammates to see if the penalty is worth standing up for their rights.

    December 3, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  114. Evelyn

    Everyone should have the right to show there religous beleif.
    give him a chance if he beleves he can do it i would do the same thing.

    December 3, 2010 at 8:28 am |
  115. Roshun

    I don't agree because he was just praying. He should have every right to do so.

    December 3, 2010 at 8:35 am |
  116. Steven

    I feel that the penalty was bogus. The player has the right to pray just like everybody else and giving him a flag is obstruction of freedom of religion.

    December 3, 2010 at 8:36 am |
  117. Burnie

    I think anyone should thank God whenever they want to. Also The ref will someday soon get flagged with a strike of lightning.

    December 3, 2010 at 8:37 am |
  118. Jake

    I am by no means a christian, but I respect the fact that he did what he did. I don't think he should have gotten that flag.

    December 3, 2010 at 8:37 am |
  119. Paul

    I'm atheist, but I guess if I believed in god then I'd keep doing it, even if the referee said i can't. I just wouldn't care.

    December 3, 2010 at 8:39 am |
  120. nolan

    its not wrong to worship jesus christ after he created all that exists by him doing the celebration is basically saying thank you to jesus christ for the opportunity.

    December 3, 2010 at 8:39 am |
  121. Courtney

    I don't think it's right for the ref to call it. He wasn't causing any harm to anyone else. He was celebrating a touchdown, nothings wrong with that.

    December 3, 2010 at 8:40 am |
  122. Scott

    It's discrimination. In America we have freedom of religion. He has as much a right to thank God, as the Muslims had to build a synagog next to ground zero. If they are allowed to have their building, he should of been allowed to pray to God.

    December 3, 2010 at 8:41 am |
  123. David

    I have played foot ball before but I never got penilized for whrshiping god. I do belive he should have droped the ball but not get a penalty for doing what he did. I do agree with him on the referee is in charge.

    December 3, 2010 at 8:46 am |
  124. Brock

    They should let him do some kind of thing its a sport everyone should have fun.

    December 3, 2010 at 8:53 am |
  125. Jessica

    I would stop praying and pointing at the sky and I don't even know why they would do that in the first place if he does it all the time.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  126. Will

    That's Crazy! He was just thanking God for letting him make that touchdown. He probably forgot to put down the ball before he kneeled.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  127. Danielle

    I don't agree with the penalty that the referee pulled on that kid.I don't think it was very fair that the referee did that because all the kid was doing was thanking God for letting him get a touchdown.Not fair at all.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:19 am |
  128. Brea...

    I would understand telling him at first to maybe tone it down a little bit. But I’m not sure if I agree with the penalty. I think the kid did the right thing by agreeing with the referee and just deciding to point to the sky.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:20 am |
  129. Jaycie

    First of all, I think that it was not right to penalize someone who is grateful for his atheletic ability. For example, in basketball, when you make a hoop, and give your team mate a high-five, you don't get called for it, so why should football players? Obviously, in basketball you don't make a huge production about it, but one little kneel to the ground, in football, and giving respect to Jesus, shouldn't be a penalty. Yeah, I would point to the sky in the name of Jesus, off the feild, I see no big deal in it at all.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:23 am |
  130. McNabb Middle School 7th Social Studies 7B

    19 people in our class disagree with the referes decsion. We feel his personal religous freedoms were taken away.

    2 people in our class argree with the referes decsion because he was doing his job and following the hand book . There may be a lot of people that might not beleive in that religous concept.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:25 am |
  131. Jacob

    i believe the ref. just used the football as an excuse for the penalty. If he wasn't holding the football he wouldn't have flagged him but i don't think saying a quick prayer is a penalty in the Bible.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:25 am |
  132. alexis

    i think he shouldn't have been flaged for doing what he did because all the football players that I know have there own little touchdown dance but none of them get flaged yet when a boy prays after he scores and the flag gets thrown.....its just somewhat cruel

    December 3, 2010 at 9:30 am |
  133. Parker

    I do not agree with the refs call. He wanted to thank god for that touchdown he just made. Its his religion why would the ref interupt his prayer. either way it was a uneccesary call

    December 3, 2010 at 9:36 am |
  134. Destinee

    What about the First Amendment? "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or PROHIBITING the free excercise thereof..." If Congress can't make a rule about that, why should the football association be able to? Not to mention the word EXCESSIVE...the player knelt down for 1 – 2 seconds, tops! That, to me, does not fit the description of excessive.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:36 am |
  135. Meghan

    i don't agree with it because he wasn't doing anything bad, he was just praying for getting a touchdown.. and he wasn't hurting anyone, and didn't have any unsportsman like mannor.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:37 am |
  136. Jasmine

    He Kinda Had A Good Reason Too. Its Pretty Rasis If You Cant Pray To God ! xD

    December 3, 2010 at 9:43 am |
  137. Anonymous

    He had a good reason to kneel down and praise Jesus. So, they shouldn't have called it. I mean, c'mon, its not like he was doing anything WRONG.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:43 am |
  138. turrell

    i dont agree with it because in the nfl they celebrate.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:43 am |
  139. cameron

    thats messed up.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:44 am |
  140. colton

    i think you should be able to pray to jesus hes the one who made us. the refferee should'nt have penelized him like that if i scored a touchdown i would celebrate too.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:45 am |
  141. Elise

    He had a good reason to do it. He was praising Jesus. I mean, c'mon, its not like he was doing anything WRONG. He was kneeling down and PRAYING. For some that is not part of their religion, and thats cool, but.. Its I don't think its necessary to call it out.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:45 am |
  142. trey

    it's worng not to pray to JESUS after a good play!!!! 🙂

    December 3, 2010 at 9:46 am |
  143. carroll

    I would totally do that. He is only supporting his religion and doing what he believes in. I would do many times again.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:46 am |
  144. Matthew, Wesley, Jessica, Abbey, and Zach

    We understand that you should always put the ball down after a touchdown, but he was not being unsportsmanlike, he was only praying- showing his thankfulness and respect to God. He was only praying to God.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:46 am |
  145. Alyssa

    Well I don't think it is fair because all he was doing was honoring and thanking God for the touchdown he made!!!!!!! He praised God and the ref wasn't right for giving that penalty.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:47 am |
  146. Victoria

    Praying should be allowed anywhere. No matter if your praying at church or for something good. The dude wasn't showing excessive celebration, he was showing thanks to God for his luck of having such a good play. i mean it's not like the dude was dancing around the field or anything. 😛

    December 3, 2010 at 9:49 am |
  147. cameron

    thats messed up. he is only doing what he believes in. that shouldnt be penilized. people show off way more than putting you knee down and praying.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:49 am |
  148. MMS 6th Grade History

    That penalty was unfair. but i would hand the ball to the referee and then do it.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:49 am |
  149. Anderson

    That was a horrible call. there is no reason he should be penalized for his praises. i would be mad i would prpbably probably throw it back at him thats just wrong

    December 3, 2010 at 9:50 am |
  150. Anonymous

    Well, in my opinion I think it was a bad penalty. If he'd been doing it all season, what made this game any different.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  151. Michelle

    If i was you and you never got a penalty on you for doing it, i will keep doing it but don't point up in the air even though you are talking about Jesus...

    December 3, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  152. jenny

    i think it is not fair for not to get thank the lord for getting something done. if that was me i would still pray every time i got a touch down. even if he gave me the flag.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  153. Ryan

    i don't think it was fair for them to call a penalty and throw a flag.
    He was jusr praying. that's a dumb Rule.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  154. Ariahna

    I think that it was stupid for the referee to flag him. If he has pointed to Jesus after everytime he got a touchdown and didn't get a flag, what's wrong with this situtation?

    December 3, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  155. Amy's Students

    We think that the penalty was not very cool because the running back was just trying to thank God for helping him make the touchdown. He wasn't bragging and wasn't going into the other team's "face" saying things like, "I made the touchdown." All he was doing was practicing his religion.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  156. Jordan

    I don't agree with that penalty at all! I personally think that should not have been a penalty. All he was doing was thanking god for letting him get a touchdown! I don't think that was excessive celebration.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  157. Anna

    Well i don't think its fair to through a flag on someone for praying on the field.No offense but its called freedom of expression and it might be football but he's just expressing his beliefs.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  158. Alan

    I don't think it fair because he was just showing his feeling. Anyways I would throw the flag back .

    December 3, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  159. Katie

    This guy was not meaning to offend anyone or cause attention to himself, he was showing glory to Jesus. It was a quick, harmless action between himself and Jesus, and he shouldn't have been flagged for it. He is a great role model.

    -Katie

    December 3, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  160. Jesse

    I think that this call is garbage because he does the same thing every game and he had never got a penalty. Also because he was just kneeling down and praying and showing his love to jesus, and its not like he was talking smack and rubbing it in the other teams face.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  161. Chris

    The world we live in why should he get a penalty for praying what is these peoples issue I dont care if he is holding the ball he just thanked god for helping him score and you what I wouldn't care if I got a penalty I would keep doing it

    December 3, 2010 at 10:23 am |
  162. Christie

    Yes, I do agree with the penatly. I think the boy was showing off. You shoudlnt pray when you make a touchdown. He can show exictment after the game. He could pray before and after the game. He shoudlnt have showed the exicment. He should have just gave the refree the ball right away.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  163. Mason

    I believe this call is wrong on the refferee. If i was in the player's position i would do it even more. this is America founded on the belief that EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES. there is no law that says you can't thank Jesus or God for a score nor a rule in football. The ref should appologize and admit he is wrong.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  164. Molly

    I can't really see a real reason why the ref didn't let the player point to the sky after a touchdown, but I guess they could argue that it could offend somebody of a different religion. I still don't think that is a good reason though, because the constitution gives all Americans freedom of religion so the player should have the right to do that. I've also seen pro football players do the same thing and I've never heard of them getting flagged for it. I think the best thing the player can do is pray on the field but without pointing to the sky. I think that is a happy medium for everybody.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  165. David

    i don't think it is right to penalize a player, just because he has the ball for to long.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  166. Mr. L. 7th Grade

    After polling my class, 2 students agreed with the call, 12 disagreed and 1 is undecided.

    We all agree however, that the athlete was not being punished for his beliefs but rather for breaking a rule.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  167. Alexander

    i don't think they should pull the flag for holding the ball for praying to god. I think for everything we do god should come first an not last.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  168. Michael

    I dont understand why someone should be flagged for that. It would be reasonable if he got flagged for dancing but thanking god is a whole new story.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:45 am |
  169. Jahlil

    I think the Ref was completely wrong for calling that flag. If the player has been doing that every touchdown I don't know why it's all of a sudden punishable.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:46 am |
  170. dean

    Wow i have never seen a BAD call like this ever. What person would call a penally for praying.I think that they should of gave it to him. Well keep up the praying and great touchdown.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:47 am |
  171. kaleb

    I think this is wrong and that this is religious discrimination and that referee should be talked to and kicked from football. The referee's call was wrong and violated the first amendment. I would understand if he was backflipping and over celebrating but he was not.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:47 am |
  172. Chase

    I do not agree with this penalty. The football player may have just wanted to show his religion and you can't be pentalized for that. Why didn't they penalize him the first time?

    December 3, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  173. Alex

    I believe that call was outrageous, we understand the rules but to say that was excessive celebrating is wrong.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  174. Eddie

    That was completely an outrages call on the ref there's no rules that cant say pray to your own religion getting called for something like that is just wrong

    December 3, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  175. Taylor

    Yes, he shouldn't have done something that might anger people and go against there religion in front of a large football game in front of everybody.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:50 am |
  176. Isaac

    getting flagged because of his respect and praise of god seems kinda like his first amendment has been violated. why did he only just now get flagged because of it? besides, it only takes 2 seconds to point the the sky.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:51 am |
  177. Taylor!

    I would not stop doing it because if i had been doing it my entire career I wouldn't stop just because I got penalized. He is just happy he got a touchdown, it's something you should be celebrating about.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  178. emma

    so what if it offended someones religion? If he want"s to praise GOD on the field that is great. the referee should not have done that.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  179. Matt

    I would do it again. America is a free country and he is glorifying the Lord for his talent and skill in football.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:59 am |
  180. Theo

    Just because a referee thinks it's wrong doesn't prove it's wrong. Some penalties are clearly wrong like face masking and personal fouls. Other penalties (like this one) are a matter of opinion. If the ref can't prove it's wrong, then I I am free to celebrate as long as it doesn't harm other people.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:12 am |
  181. Courtnie

    I think its a good thing to pray because god helped him get that touchdown and he's just simpily thanking him.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:12 am |
  182. Brenna

    I was watching this is in my Global Studies. I just had to write a comment. I watch football all the time. I always see people score a touchdown. When they do they dance and just jump around. so praying to God should be fine. That is what he believes in. It is praying like he should be able to where ever he is. He was just thanking God for his touchdown. Well thank you for listening...I love your show CNN..!

    sincerely Brenna

    December 3, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  183. Kaden

    I do not agree with the penalty because he he was just thanking Jesus.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  184. Alexis

    I think the flag shouldn't have been made towards him. He thanking Jesus for helping him. It only took 5 seconds it not like he took out a bullhorn. He did nothing wrong.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  185. Emily

    I think If hes been doing that at every game with out getting pentlized it shouldnt make a difference now.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:14 am |
  186. Tasha

    That is wrong I think you should be able to express your religon without getting a penalty for it. If that happened to me I'd do it again even if it did mean getting in trouble and not being able to play football for awhile.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:14 am |
  187. Liza

    I don't think the male high schooler should've been pentalized for thanking God after his great touch-down. I think he was just thanking God for his accomplish.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:15 am |
  188. Claudia14

    I think that when he points to the sky that he souldn't stop doing that. If they say it's a free country then you do what you want if you want to do that.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:16 am |
  189. Jacob

    I do not agree with the penalty because its not like he was showboating all he did was thank god for the touchdown

    December 3, 2010 at 11:16 am |
  190. shawn

    i think he should not get in trouble for a thing he did be for. he shoul'nt take this penalty

    December 3, 2010 at 11:16 am |
  191. Alissa

    i would point at the sky when i am off the feild or pray befroe the game starts and that you will win

    December 3, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  192. Alicia

    I do not agree with this because the kid has been doing this every touch down he got so why did it matter when he did it that time? And he wasnt praising him self, he was prasing god because he got a touch down.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  193. Joel

    I think that the call should stand because he never gave up the ball like the rule said to. Although it may seem like he is displaying his religious aptitude like in so many other cases but that isn’t what the call was made by.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  194. Liza

    I dont think the male high schooler should've been pentalized for praying/thanking God for his touch-down. Maybe in his beliefs he it was the right thing to do.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  195. Shayde

    The football player getting flagged for knelling and praying. I think that is was kind of lame because he is thanking God for his help. Some school ask him for his help before the game and to keep the team from getting hurt. But I don't know anything about football but I think that it is lame.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  196. Kaycee

    I think that the play shouldn’t be flagged because he has done that in every game and hasn’t got a flag until now. If it was that big of a deal they would have handled it a long time ago. Not just now. Maybe they should let every ref crew know that he does that when he makes a touchdown. They shouldn’t be questioning his religion it’s a part of freedom!

    December 3, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  197. Audrya

    I agree with it because your religious thoughts are supposed to be all on your own unless your in a church they are not supposed to be for schools. And I think that he was just trying to draw attention to himself!

    December 3, 2010 at 11:20 am |
  198. Morgan

    I agree with the rule that says give the ball to the ref or whoever but I don’t agree with the penalty because he was just thanking god for his touchdown,it was his choice of just showing a thanxz. If he would have gave the ball to the ref then took a knee and pointed to the sky would he have got the yellow flag???

    December 3, 2010 at 11:20 am |
  199. Alicia

    What i say is that it should now be a penilty becuaz u are talking to god for thanking him for that touch down!

    December 3, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  200. Tyler

    I’m writing about the penalty. I think it is a stupid rule because everyone should have the right to show their religion and not have to be penalized. Especially if the call wasn’t enforced in the past. And about the ball, I mean can’t the ref at least wait for a few seconds. I mean its not like there in hurry up offense, the clock stops after a score. Therefore, I believe that the call shouldn’t have been called.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  201. chris

    i think you should beable to do what ever you want after scoring a touchdown because you just made a touchdown

    December 3, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  202. Bailey

    My opinion on the penalty play is that what if the student was a religious guy. There is no reason why there was a penalty on that.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  203. Kaylee

    I agree with the penalty because he's expressing his religious thought and schools do not except that, but it shouldnt be such a big deal

    December 3, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  204. chris

    i think it was stupid to call a penelty on him because he was praying for celebration

    December 3, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  205. Evan

    I think that since he has been doing this in every game, and hadn't been called on it, there should be no problem. But then again the player should have dropped the ball before doing so. The referee in this game just took the "excessive" celebration a little bit to seriously, but all in all, nothing was wrong with that play.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  206. robbie

    i think that it was a bad call they should not of gaive him a flag

    December 3, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  207. Nathan

    he dont deserve a penalty thats good he scored a touchdown he should celebrate on the field

    December 3, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  208. Makayla

    I dont think that that play should of be called because all he was doing is saying praying of saying thank you god. He got called in different games so what is is the problem. There are lots of people in pro football and they can do dances and practically shove the point in the other teams face and he cant do somthing for him its like there is a problem with praying it is a part of the free country.that os why it think it is wrong

    December 3, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  209. Kristine

    I think that it should've been fine for the football palyer to celebrate. having the football in his hands. There should be nothing wrong with that. He was thanking God for his touchdown and there should'nt have been a penalty. Plain & Simple.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  210. Brayden

    Well I think the penalty should stay because he didn’t give the ball up and he was also celebrating. An other thing is he use his religious to celebrate the Touchdown. You can’t do that in school. It was a good call.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  211. Natajai

    i dont agree because you can celebrate if you want to because a touchdown is a good thing.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  212. Austin

    That flag was completely stupid, one little gesture towards Jesus isnt such a big deal.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  213. DaeQuan

    I think that its not right to call a penalty on a player if they were preying for a celebrating. I think that the referee was hating on the player.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  214. Cassie

    I think that it is really stupid that the ref. put a flag on the play for the guy doing that. there shouldn't have been one because he really didn't do anything wrong. If I were the football player I would keep doing what I had been doing the whole season, because the chances are slim to non that that would happen again.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  215. Anonymous

    I think that he should have of dropped the ball, but there should not be a flag. he can still pray and point to the sky, but not with the ball and in private. and they can’t stop him if they did then it would be eliminating his freedom.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  216. Raine

    I agree with the rule you need to give the ball up right away. But you should be able to do what ever you want to if you want to praise god after a touchdown because you believe that he helped you make the touchdown it should be aloud, as long as you aren't interrupting anything. And i think you should be able to do it as long as you aren’t dragging anyone in to the prayer, if it is just you doing it and your just saying a quick thank you it should be ok. If he had have given up the ball first he shouldn’t get a flag but since he didn’t he got the flag pulled. If he just gets down on one knee and points at the sky it should be fine he isn’t doing anything bad. I agree that he should have gotten the flag, But if he hadn't had the ball he should have been fine.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  217. Victoria,.

    Come on, he was celebrating his touch down and happy that he got a point, he does it after every touch down he gets and what’s wrong with it, he’s not doing anything wrong except for saying thank you god for being there and leading me and what’s wrong with that? The ref flagging that play show’s that he has a problem with it; maybe he didn’t realize that he had to put down the ball even though every other time they didn’t care. So that was a very inconsiderate thing to do when he could just be jealous that he’s not a football player.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  218. ♥KIM♥

    All he was doing was celebratinga touch down he should not be penalized for that who cares if he was drawing attention to himself or not he made a touch down why not celebrate or draw attention to yourself!!!!!

    December 3, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  219. Emily

    I really don't know why they would choose now to say that was a penalty now if he's been doing that after every touchdown every game, that isn't fair.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:31 am |
  220. david

    i think that the pearson should not get a penalty and that he has a right to thank god for hellping him to get a touch down on the field and you shouldnt give anyone a penilty for worshiping there god.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:34 am |
  221. Duffie

    From our standing point, I believe that the penalty was correct because he never handed the ball to the referee. The referee should be respected during the game. If he had handed the ball to the referee and then pointed to the sky, that would be acceptable.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:37 am |
  222. Cole

    The player should not have gotten a flag because he was thanking God for helping him make the touchdown. Getting a touchdown is a happy moment and you should be able to celebrate.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:37 am |
  223. Eric

    I think that the penalty is not okay, because he rightfully got a touchdown. I also think the referee is trying to make the other team win by calling cheap penalties. All the player was doing was thanking God.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:38 am |
  224. Pacific High School

    If it doesn't harm anyone when he points to the sky why does it matter. Plus It seems like this might be a freedom of religion issue. The sports players we see on television constantly show thier religious beliefs when they succeed, why are students being penalized for it.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:39 am |
  225. Seth

    The kid should not have got a penalty because praying to God is not an excessive celebration. If he has done it so many times, then why would they stop him now? Instead of giving him a penalty, they should give him at least a warning. He shows his respect for his religion, so why can’t the referees respect it, too!

    December 3, 2010 at 11:39 am |
  226. Bre

    I think this penalty is unfair because it was religious and wasn't meant for bragging. Although he might have broken the rules, he was praising God for helping him succeed on his journey to a touchdown. He should not be penalized for his beliefs. It wasn't excessive celebrating; it was a reasonable display of emotion.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:39 am |
  227. Kevin

    I see absolutely no reason at all why he was penalized for giving thanks. He was simply happy and grateful, and I think that those feelings were entitled to him.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  228. sethhh

    Jesus gives me a boner.
    the referee shouldn't have called that penalty.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  229. Lacey

    I don't agree with the penalty because he was not attempting to draw attention to himself or to embarrass the other team.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:51 am |
  230. T.B.

    I believe it is unfair and that it is ruining football because it is one man's subjectiveness to that players actions. It could be argued that it violates his 1st ammendment rights.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:54 am |
  231. Chyannne

    I think that he should just keep on praying. The couches cant stop the players from being christan and there belifes. He was praising god not trying to get a penlty

    December 3, 2010 at 11:54 am |
  232. macie

    I don't think that he should be pentlized because he was just celebrating the touch down. Also he was just giving thanks . So I do not think that he should be pentlized.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:56 am |
  233. Isaiah

    I think that he should be penalized because he was only celebrating the touchdown for himself. I also think that he should be penalized for saying a prair for himself.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:56 am |
  234. Trevor

    I don't think the penalty should have been called! if he wants to celibrate to God, then they should let him celibrate with prayer to God. It was a very bad call!

    December 3, 2010 at 11:57 am |
  235. Erik

    Yes, because they should be able to celebrate whe they make a play or touchdown. If the NFL doesn't get penaltized, then they shouldn't get fined either. Also why would he call it unsportsman like conduct. He didn't even do anything to other player.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:57 am |
  236. Mrs. Preis' Class

    We feel that the penalty is not fair for this running back. We believe that excessive celebration is an opinion, and many referees disagree on it. There needs to be more clear explanations of what excessive celebration looks like, so that all players can understand the same rules for every single game.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:58 am |
  237. austin

    I think that the penalty was wrong because he was just praying to jesus and he can do whatever he wants and you cant stop him from praying

    December 3, 2010 at 11:58 am |
  238. peter

    i think he shouldnt be penalized because he made a good play and he has the reason to celebrate .also the nfl doesnt get penalized either. and he didnt do anything to a player .

    December 3, 2010 at 11:59 am |
  239. Michael

    I would never agree with that penalty I mean he was praying I have a religon he has a religon it's not fair.That shoul'nt have been a penalty.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
  240. Kyle

    I disagree with the call.All he was doing was celibrating his touchdown. If he has been doing that for evry touch down and never got a flag why dose he sudenly get one now?It dose not make much sence to me.He was just praying for jesus and thanking him!

    December 3, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
  241. armando

    i think its very wrong to penalize him for kneeling and saying a quick prayer...i wouldn't stop if i got penalized for it i would still keep doing it because it is thanking Jesus for giving me the gift of being good enough to score the touchdown

    December 3, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
  242. macie

    I believe that he should not be penalized because he was just saying a prayer of thanks for making a touch down. The football plater was just showing his religion. Also the referee is taking away the basic rights of Americans.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
  243. Trevor

    I don't agree with the penilty! all he was doing was celibrating his touchdown! if he wants to celibrate with prayer to God, they should let him! It's a free country with lots of religions.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
  244. Bofo

    He should have gotten a warning instead of getting a flag, because he's been doing it all season and there was no point for him to get a flag.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  245. Trevor

    I don't agree with the penilty at all! if he wants to celibrate hsi touchdown with prayer, they should let him celibrate with prayer to God!

    December 3, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  246. Jorge

    Yes and no because he didin't let go of the ball in time, also he was praying to our father (jesus/ savior).

    December 3, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
  247. Matthew

    I don't agree with the penalty because a player should be allowed to kneel down and pray and not be called with an excessive celebration penalty. If he were to spike the ball down or jump into his teamates arms and shout. So it shouldn't be a penalty esspially if it's never been a penalty before.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
  248. Bailey

    I don't think that that the ref should have giving the player a penalty. He was only taking his time to show appreciation to God and his help. He was not celebrating, but thanking the lord for his loving help. Therefor, I don't believe that the football player should have gotten a penalty.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
  249. David

    I think that the penalty shouldn't have been called. Football is all about fun and playing with friends. Thanking God is something everyone should do. If it were me out their and i got a penalty for doing that then i would still do it. In fact i would encourage people to prey and thank god for doing something successful.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
  250. autie

    i think that they shouldn't put a flag on him. I mean yes it was a little inaproprate but he still should express his feelings. he should just do it somewhere else.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
  251. Suzie

    There is nothing wrong with kneeling and pointing to the sky. He was just showing what he beleived in. A penalty against kneeling praying is just stupid!

    December 3, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
  252. Mikael

    Why should he get a flag for something he has always done? It defies what he believes in and makes him feel bad bad because they lost the touchdown.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
  253. Matthew

    I wouldn't stop praying to Jesus after every touchdown

    December 3, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
  254. Paden

    that penalty was so unfair! he was praying! If the referee scored his first touchdown he would have done the same thing.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
  255. Mikael

    Thats just plain wrong. If I had been doing it at a previous game and not been called I would have broke down in anger because I just lost the touchdown for the team.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
  256. Lina

    I think it's crazy that he got a flag. If he wants to thank God for his success
    he should be able to do it. He wasn't going," Ha,ha we scored!", or anything like that.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
  257. Suzie

    Can you beleive the ref. did that ? I mean it's outrageous. The player was just thanking god that he got a touchdown. Where is the wrong doing in that ? I am in the band and the whole band prays before we have a performance. some of the time our administrator is in there. does she say anything? No! Also if he has been doing it the whole season why start penalizing it now, when the seasons is almost over?

    December 3, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
  258. Carrie

    I believe that the penalty shouldn't have been a penalty. The football player was just praying to Jesus because he made a touch down for football team. That is his religon,he should pray if he wants. The referee probably didn't understand hisreligon and how important it was to him. I also think the referee sould say sorry to the football player and the football player should pray when he wants, besides he is celebrating!

    December 3, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  259. Abagail(:

    I feel that the call the referee made was not cool. Serioulsy he was talking to Jesues! I understand different religions, but still.... maybe he should do it somewhere else! In my opinion it should have not been called!:)

    December 3, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
  260. Mercedes

    I feel that he has the right to pray but maybe he should have let the ball go after he scord the touch down

    December 3, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
  261. Evan

    it was just because the other team was losing

    December 3, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
  262. Antonio

    I think that he should be able to point and there should not be a flag.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
  263. stephanie

    everyone does this! im in 7th grade and some of my friends did this in their football game and there wasn't a penalty. i mean if he did this then started doing the moonwalk or something that i think is a penalty but if it's a prayer on the field it fine.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  264. Tayttum

    I think that it is not so fair they flagged the runner down. I still think he should not have rubbed it in any ones face he got a touch down.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  265. Noah

    That is a weird rule. I would not do it again on the field but maybe in a pick-up game for fun ya

    December 3, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
  266. Miguel

    its dumb because he did it before

    December 3, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
  267. Kayli J.

    I also think that this football player should keep up his game, standing out for his God, because that is what he did for you and me!

    December 3, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
  268. evan

    I think that the referee took it to far. I would keep on doing it. So what that one referee did throw a flag it doesnt mean that another referee would also do that.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
  269. Jake

    Getting penalized for celebrating a touchdown is just stupid let the kids play the sports you don't hardly see the NFL players getting a unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for pretending to slam dunk a shot over the goal posts, so just give the players a break for once

    December 3, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
  270. Noah

    i do not agree with what the ref did if he had gotten in trouble in the past why should he get in troubel this time???

    December 3, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
  271. Lexi

    It's not right! He was just happy about getting a touchdown and the refs have to ruin it! I think that the refs have to much control over the game. You can tell who the ref wanted to win that game! It's not right and something should be done!

    December 3, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
  272. Arin

    Thats like noooo faiirrr, it think he shouldn't have been pentalized

    December 3, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
  273. Antonio

    i play football and i think that he should be able to do that because he is just praising god. I don't think that he was trying to get attention form everybody.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
  274. Elizabeth

    First of all, I can't believe that he was penalized for "excessive celebrating." His celebrating was hardly excessive. Clearly this type of celebrating was allowed prior to this game, so the precedent was set. There was no way for this kid to know that this type of "celebration" was not allowed. Additionally for those saying that he could be offending others by pointing to the sky, the US Constitution provides that we have freedom of religion. Freedom of religion means that we have the right to practice any religion we choose, without the government getting involved. It does not mean that we should be afraid to express what we believe for fear of offending others. He was hardly doing anything offensive. There is no reason why someone pointing to the sky should offend anyone of any religion. For all they knew, he could be pointing to a plane. People need to calm down.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
  275. Kourtney

    I would do it again! I think it's a very good thing that he's thanking God for all of his touchdowns. But, why hasn't he gotten a penalty before? Also, why are they bringing it up now instead of the very first time that he did it?

    December 3, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
  276. Cece

    I think that it was fine to do that. I mean he was just showing his appreciation. towards his religion. It wasn't like he was dancing and show boating.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
  277. Jake

    Its a free country he can do what he wants. Its not like he was in some ones face making them feel bad.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
  278. santo

    I don't agree with the penalty. He was just celebrating a touchdown and expressing his religion. That's not a penalty, especially since he did it with every other touchdown he'd gotten and it wasn't a problem. So it really doesn't make sense why it would suddenly be a problem now. I realize that some people might be offended, but really, if someone of a non-Christian religion did that too, the same could be said of them. I don't think he deserved a penalty.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
  279. Hayes

    I think this foul was wrong and that the players should be able to worship that they got the touchdown
    This was a bad call ref a bad call!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:(

    December 3, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
  280. Mianda

    That is not fair. He was praying and thanking jesus for getting a touchdown. If could be in football i would do the same exact thing,but now he knows not to do it again.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
  281. Lauren

    It think that is NOT FAIR!!!!! i mean maybe because he didn't drop the football but he was praising God and Jesus!!!!! i go to a christian school and i bet he does too! and i know that that shouldn't have been a stinkin penalty! GRRRRR GRRRRRRRRRR GRRRRRRRRRR GRRRRRRRR

    December 3, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
  282. ray

    i think he shouold have not got the penalty if he does it every time he gets a touch down.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  283. teresa

    i don't think it really mattes that the kid really did it, i guess it was an religious thing & people should except that. it's not like a huge deal.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  284. TrIsTaN

    i don't think he should have been penalized because he touched the ball on the ground THEN pointed up in the sky

    December 3, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
  285. tasha

    that is not right. the running back should not be penalized for praying. it is part of his religion. any one would have done the same thing. they should not have penalized because he was only showing his religion.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
  286. EmmaKate

    I don't agree with the penelty, I think it is fine to point at the sky and thank Jesus for the touchdown. Jesus is the one who gave him the talent to score a touchdown. Anyways on the U.S.A coin it says
    "In God we Trust." So why can't someone praise Jesus for a touchdown! If I was him I wouldn't care, I would keep doing it becuase everyone is allowed to have "freedom of religon".

    December 3, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
  287. Omar

    I don't really agree with this penalty It's been around since high school football began. I believe you should be able to rub it in the other teams faces a little.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
  288. Zoe

    I believe the penalty was unnecessary. We have the freedom of speech and of religion. He was not being rude to the other team. He was being completely sportsman like and worshiping his religious. There is nothing in the rules of football that bans celebrating or worshiping therefore he can not be penalized!

    December 3, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
  289. Audrey

    I don't agree. I believe that if someone wants to praise Jesus they should be able to do so freely. Jesus, deserves your praise.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
  290. Grace

    I think that kneeling after a touchdown was reverent to God who gave him the talent to make the touchdown.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
  291. Dalton

    I think this is abouch of Blogna because it says he can do that becacuse it is not in the rule book SO HE CAN DO THAT SOO NO MORE COMMENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 3, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
  292. Rexanna

    Are you serious? He was praising GOD. Which in my opinion is a good thing. Why can other people celebrate like the NFL but other people like this young man can't? Ok my personal opinion is the Referee needs to Back off! and if I was him I would not stop praising my Lord infront of anyone. Good for the kid bad on the Reff.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
  293. Allison

    That's a terrible thing for the ref to do. It's not like he did a little dance or anything, he simply kneeled to pray and call attention to Jesus.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
  294. zoey

    thats so stupid that they would do that! he is celebratinng with jesus its no big deal every one else got to celebrate there way why cant he . he just is a differnt way to celebrate no big deal!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 3, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  295. Patrick

    I think the referee was making a bad call because if he has done all season then it shouldn't be counted against you, and yes he should keep doing it because he has done it all season.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  296. Guffey

    What that referee did was a bunch of malarkey. Is he just one of those Brits who still hates America and the Constitution for what happened over 200 years ago? After all, robbing the chap of his freedom of religion is unconstitutional. Praising the Lord for one's achievements anything but unsportsmanlike.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  297. Demi

    The player was obviously thanking Jesus for giving him the strength to make the touchdown. He was celebrating yes but it was something just really big like dancing on the field. It was a tradition for him to kneel and point up after every touchdown he made and it was quick so it should not have mattered if he did so or not.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
  298. kade

    i suggest next time the running back should give the ball to the ref and then kneel and pray to god

    good luck to the running back

    December 3, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
  299. Mady

    I think that kneeling and pointing to the sky was an entirely appropriate reaction to making a touchdown because It was the Lord who gave him the ability to do that. Also, I respect his reaction to when the referee told him why he was penalized because he respectfully honored his authority, yet at the same time he publically announced his faith in God. In my opinion, the referee had no right to penalize him for doing that because everyone has freedom of religion and speech (according to the Bill of Rights).

    December 3, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
  300. Alissabeth!

    If he was doing that all year without getting a penalty, then why a penalty now. Did the referee do that on purpose? If it was me I would just drop the ball when kneeling and pointing to the sky in prayer.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:14 pm |
  301. antonio

    i think this penalty is stupid because he was praying to jesus and he has done it before and he is respecting his religion

    December 3, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
  302. Katy

    I disagree with the ref. The guy was only acknowledging his appreciation of the Lord. Many players of all sports point to the sky to show their gratification and love for their savor. Why should the football player be penalized for his acknowledgment? Answer: He shouldn't.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
  303. Samantha

    I completely disagree. The referee is penalizing someone for celebrating a touchdown? I mean he's done it after every other touchdown, so why penalize him now? Everyone gets excited about scoring, right? Different people celebrate in different ways. His way just happen to be kneeling and pointing to the sky!

    December 3, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  304. Finnegan

    Being a football player i strongly disagree with the penalty. The penalty is not only a abomination to the football league but an abomination to the first amendment. Millions of men have lost their lives to defend this amendment. This referee has not only disrespected this young mans God but the men and women who have fault to uphold the freedom of "speech press and religion.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
  305. Christinaa

    I don’t think it’s fair and I wouldn't stop at all. I would keep doing it because he was basically giving thanks to Jesus. In my opinion I think that that one particular referee doesn't know Jesus like the football player does. He shouldn’t have gotten the flag at all if he has done in other games. It's a good gesture than what other players have done in the past. It's freedom of religion and he was celebrating through his religion.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
  306. Connor

    I wouldnt stop pointing to the sky, I see alot of players doing it all the time and they dont get penalized, it just dosent make sence to stop if you have been pointing to the sky everytime you got a touchdown.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:18 pm |
  307. Allison

    I believe that the penalty was ridiculous because he does that every time he scores, so why should he get in trouble in this one game? We have a right to have freedom of speech, press, and religion, and this ref is taking that away for simply praying to Jesus after his great play. He was not calling the attention to himself; it was to Jesus.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
  308. Stettler

    I think he could have given the ball up and then did his prayer. Then he shouldn't have gotten a penalty. The rule says you are not supposed to celebrate with the ball, so if you give up the ball first, and then do your prayer, it's not against the rules because you don't have the ball.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
  309. Heidi

    I think that the point is that you have to give up the ball right after a touchdown. It doesn't matter if someone did a victory dance or said a prayer. It is against the rules. In order to be fair, the ref has to enforce the rule for everyone. This isn't about the freedoms in America, it's about the rules of football.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:26 pm |
  310. Samantha

    In, no way, would I stop doing what he did. I, as a softball player, has those little things, as a "good luck charm" per say. But they do not look up to god. But, I think that he should never stop doing what he does.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
  311. Paige

    I see no wrong in the way the football player "celebrated" his touchdown. Actually, I am thankful that we still have players playing for God. He simply was thanking God for giving him the athletic ability to make the touchdown he did, and has for the entire season. The referee, in this case was wrong but however, when football players start to become prideful and obnoxious...I think that's when the referee should be handing out flags.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
  312. Courtney

    No, that penalty should NOT have been called. If he wanted to celebrate, he should celebrate. I think that it's just recognized as, being joyful; having a spirit about making that touchdown. He was just expressing himself by his religion. We do live in a free country.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
  313. Lucas

    If I had been flagged, I would keep on doing my rutine after the touchdowns. We have freedom of religion in this country and no referee can change that.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
  314. Moesha

    I don't agree, it was his respect torwards Jesus, and he should not have a penalty for his beliefs or religions. Scoring a touchdown is something to celebrate, & that was his way of celebrating it. He doesn't need to be off the feild for something like that, it's ridiculous.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
  315. Rachael

    I don't think that he should have been penalized because he was just thanking jesus. The only thing he did was point to the sky, that does not deserve a penalty.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
  316. Laurie's class

    We thought he should drop the ball first and then pray after, off the field if he wants to. We think people of faith should be able to show it but they still have to follow rules. RJ thinks that if he gets away with it most of the time they shouldn't penalize him. The rest of us think he should be penalized, but it is still his right to pray after he puts the ball back in play.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
  317. Carlita

    I don't agree with what they did. What did he do that was so bad? Its not right, and unfair.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:41 pm |
  318. bethany

    I think that he shouldn`t of because he is thinking god for what he did in the game. It is a blessing that god let him have that touchdown. If they are not aloud to prey because of that then does that mean we can`t prey before a game. I always say god comes first,, and because of a religious reff the player is getting into trouble just for bring god into the game. God should be brought to the game. The player is doing a good thing for praying. There is a little thing called freedom and just for praying it`s wrong. Also what does praying got to affect the other team for ,, there is no unsportsmanship in praying ,, i think everybody should pray when god lets them do something wonderfull and great and that touchdown was wonderful and great so he had a right to pray and thank god for it.!!!

    December 3, 2010 at 1:42 pm |
  319. Arkeith

    No because it was stupid. And it was uncalled for.My dad is a ref and he said that was a bad call.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
  320. marcus

    my dad said that was a bad call. i think there was no point in the call why not just let him do what he did. other people do stuff after they score so why do that to him after he was doing it the whole year.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
  321. Stettler

    I think he could have given the ball up and then did his prayer. Then he shouldn't have gotten a penalty. The rule says you are not supposed to celebrate with the ball. So if you give up the ball first, and then do your prayer, it's not against the rules because you don't have the ball.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
  322. robert

    i don't agree with the penalty because it was a unfair call by the ref. i think that ref should be fired because that ref should have not made that call.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
  323. Olmsted

    I would absolutely not quit because I was just thanking God because he brought me here. Plus it was just a simple gesture.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
  324. Konrad

    I think that if you believe in god you must thank him for what he did.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
  325. Halley

    I don't agree with what happened. He should be allowed to celebrate his touchdown. He was not hurting anyone and he he was not causing trouble, he was just celebrating his touchdown. The ref should've not called it. What is wrong for praying when you score a touchdown? There is nothing wrong with it. He was just respecting Jesus.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
  326. Dustin

    I dont think he should of been flagged, but i guess thats the rules of the game. So I dont think I would do it again. But Im sure some people out there would do if they have all year.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
  327. Tim

    I disagree because it was his religion

    December 3, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
  328. ZACK

    i think its just plain insane

    December 3, 2010 at 1:55 pm |
  329. Matt

    what the frick! first, he wasn't giving glory/attention to himself, he was giving it all to God; second, why the heck doesnt anyone else get flags...all almost everyone does is dance and gloat after getting a touchdown...and they do it for a longer time than he did....that ref utterly FAILS at life.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
  330. Henry

    I think that penalty was so wrong because he has done it after every game and there is nothing wrong with thanking god. I think he should keep doing it because he has done it before.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
  331. Zachariah

    I think the referie was wrong to make the penalty because like the guy said he was intending his attention to Jesus not to the people in the crowd or anybody else.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
  332. Jordan

    I feel bad for the running Bcak because he was sayin thanks to god.
    soi think the ref should be sorry for a dumb Flag...

    December 3, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
  333. Teresaaa

    No i don't think that the ref should have threw the flag out over him putting his hand up after a touchdown , because he did it in every game and they never threw a flag out at him for doing it.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
  334. jonae

    i think the referee was wrong in my book because he has a right to express his religon if he'd like

    December 3, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
  335. Amy

    I understand the whole holding the ball flag, but the "dralling attention" to him self, I think that is stupid he was giving god attenion. like that is what he likes so I don't think he really should have got the flag for dralling attaction

    December 3, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
  336. Nick

    That call was so unfair. He was just happy to score and he might be really religious.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
  337. Zachariah

    I think the referee was wrong to make the penalty for the running back for just blessing his touchdown to the lord, saying thanks. The attention was not to be intended for him, but for Jesus. If the referee wanted him to stop thanking the Lord that would be a violation of freedom of speech. People have the freedom of speech last time I checked, and if the referee wants to stop that, then he might as well go back in time and fixed the amendments.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
  338. preston

    I would aryue about it . or pertend to takle the referee .

    December 3, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
  339. Darian

    I think the penalty is unfair because if the player has been doing it all year without getting flagged, the referee shouldn't have penalized him. It is his own choice to be able to point to the sky and give thanks to God for what he has done for us, especially since our country needs to start being more God centered.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
  340. Kareena

    I don't think it's right to penalize someone for their faith. If someone wants to thank the Lord for making a touchdown, basket, or a goal then they should be aloud to do it. I know it would upset me if they penalized me just because I gave thanks to God for scoring points on a game. Religion is a big part of my family. It always has been and always will be no matter what anyone has to say about it.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
  341. Jessica

    The United States constitution says we have the right to practice whatever religion we want. This shouldn't change just because you're in the middle of a football game. Judging someone for giving thanks to God is just dispicable.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
  342. Doug

    I think that the reffs called a bogus foul on the dude, because i would want to thank god for letting me finish the play and get a touchdown. if that would ever happen to me i would be furious because it violates my 1st amendent rights.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
  343. Bill

    I think it should be alright as long as you dont get carryied way but, just praying should not be that big of a deal......

    December 3, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  344. Dan

    No I would not stop doing it because it's something between you and god. You should not be penalized for something like that.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  345. Amanda

    I think this is outragous!!!!! If he choses to show his religion and give all the glory to god for his touch down let him! I do believe in following the rules of the game but he is showing everyone that it was not him it was god which I am 100% going for.
    -Amanda

    December 3, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
  346. Abigail

    I think pentalizing him is wrong, people should be able to celebrate there touchdown anyway they want,
    Pointing at the sky to Jesus was no where near wrong, he was showing appreciation to Jesus and not the touchdown. So what is the big deal?
    If I were to be pentalized for it, I would ask my teammates there opinions to see if I should stop or not. If they said yes I would find another way to show my appreciation for the touchdown and Jesus.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
  347. Billy

    You should be able to do a little something something as long as you dont get in the opponents face.... In the NFL they do it all the time....

    December 3, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
  348. Douglas

    i thought that the penelty was a bogus call on the reffs side. if that ever would happen to me i would be furious because it violates my 1st amendment rights.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
  349. Stevanna

    No, I don't agree with the penalty because this is ridiculous. No harm is done by praying to a god is there? Nope.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  350. Taylor

    I dont agree with the referee because the kid has a right to respect his relegon by thanking Jesus for his touch down.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  351. mitchell

    i dont agree with this penalty. i think praying after a touchdown should be fine especially if it was as fast as that prayer. i have seen this in football games i have played in and didnt think anything of it.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  352. Cameron

    Lord Jesus Cahrist our savior and lord deserves this praise and this is religious bias on the referees part on which he should be punished

    December 3, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  353. mitch

    i dont agree with this penalty. i think praying after a touchdown should be fine especially if it was as fast as that prayer. i have seen this in football games i have played in and didnt think anything of it.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  354. billy

    You should be able to do a little something as long as you dont get in the opponets face....... Look in the NFL they do it all the time.......

    December 3, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  355. Nick

    I think that if someone wants to celebrate a touchdown by giveing a shoutout to Jesus I think it's alright. If anyone wants to celebrate anything they should. Everyone has a freedom of belief and anyone should have a freedom of celebration.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  356. dirk

    i dont agree with this penalty. i think praying after a touchdown should be fine especially if it was as fast as that prayer. i have seen this in football games i have played in and didnt think anything of it.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  357. Jasmin

    i think that was very unfair because we all as americans have a freedom of religion , and if he wanted to neal down and pray after a touchdown then let him !

    December 3, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  358. brett

    no i would keep doing it and then get off the field and celebrate that is weird that that happened if he has been doing it all year tell the league that then you wont get penalized for being a son of god.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
  359. Mackenzie

    I think the referee shouldnt have penalized him for it. It may be the guys really religious, and I see nothing wrong with that.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
  360. Troy

    i really think that penalty was wrong because in the playoffs they celebrate a touchdown. So why he couldn't

    December 3, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
  361. Nick

    I DO NOT AGREE with this decision at all. If he has done it every game then it shouldnt matter if he did it this time!!! 😀

    December 3, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
  362. Breanna

    i think that if he wants to point to the sky and say a prayer he should be able to.....

    December 3, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  363. THagewood

    I do not agree with the penalty. That referee needs to mind his own buisness. He did not need to call a penalty over religion. That is discrimination

    December 3, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  364. Kenzie

    I think the referee shouldnt have penalized him for it. He was just thanking Jesus for the touchdown, he may be a religous man. So What..!

    December 3, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  365. Josh

    If I was in this guys shoes and would still give Jesus the praise. However, I wouldn't draw too much attention to myself. You can still give Jesus the praise. Just say a little prayer to yourself and hand the ref the ball. That was a really bad call!

    December 3, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
  366. Troy

    I really think that penalty was wrong because the player's in the playoffs celebrate a touchdown so why he couldn't.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
  367. megan

    I didn't think it was fair because technically he wasn't celebrating alot he was just thanking God. It wasnt fair because God helps him get through the game. Maybe he likes to thank God because it is part of his religion and the referees are just going against his religion if it is.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  368. Seth

    I think any player should be able to do anything as long as its appropriate after scoring a touchdown such as praying or belly bumping a team mate but if it gets inappropriate the referee can have the choice to call a penalty.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
  369. Cris

    I would continue to pray on the field after every touchdown. He has every right to do that because of the bill of right. Also who doesn't do a short celebration of a touchdown after making it.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  370. Caitlyn

    My true opinion is that if he gets penalized for pointing to the sky, to god then basically every religious person should go to jail for believing in god, and going to church. So if he got penalized for pointing to the sky then, people should get sent to jail for praying.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
  371. Leslie

    Personally, I wouldn't stop doing it because as US citizens, we have freedom of religion. Being thankful and pointing to the sky is not the type of celebrating that the football rules are talking about. Especially since he has not been flagged for this all year, why now?

    December 3, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  372. Aley

    I understand where the refs are coming from. You are supposed to give the ball back right after the touchdown but there is nothing wrong with praising the lord for the talent that he gave you. I would keep doing the same thing. For years Christians have been persecuted by their faith. There is no difference now.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  373. alax

    well to me it sounds like the referee was being plane out stupid!

    December 3, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  374. jonny

    i think the referee was on the other team side and penalize him so they wouldn't win?

    December 3, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  375. spencer

    I would have drop the ball and that so I wouldn't have got a flag

    December 3, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  376. jermain

    all I got to say is he scored a touchdown and celebrate, so what is the big idea.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  377. Alisha

    I think that the referee's call is extremely unfair. A lot of players draw attention to themselves and nothing is said to them. If I were in that position I would continue to rejoice in the way that I pleased and simply take the punishment.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  378. LaDerrian

    The refs are wrong

    December 3, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  379. Austin

    I think it is disrespectful for the ref to pull a flag on him for thanking god for the lucky touchdown. I am a football player myself and i would do that before and after each game even if my team lost or won.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  380. Wyatt

    That is negative, and doesn't make any sense because thats like getting yelled at for going to church. It is also like getting a detention for finishing your homework, or assignment.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  381. jeremy

    I wouldn't because preying on the field is a good thing you are giving god thanks.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  382. Fallon

    If i were him i would just remember to drop the ball next time so he wouldn't be penalized for holding the ball and if he did it all season without any penalties then he shouldn't be penalized now. I don't think he should stop kneeling and pointing to the sky because he's thanking god for the blessing so no harm was done. It wasn't excessive celebration because he simply thanked his god and we all have the right to express our religion.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  383. Troy

    I think the referee was on the other team and penalize him so they couldn't win the game.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  384. J.T.

    I once saw someone do that before and the referee did not give him a flag, but instead he kicked him out of the game! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    December 3, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
  385. Annabel

    I think its stupid, because if he's done it after every time then why hasn't he been flagged before?

    December 3, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  386. Jalan

    If this had happened to me i would keep doing it every time I scored. However, I would give the ball to the referee before I went to the sideline to have a quick prayer. lf it wasn't for GOD; he wouldn't have scored the touchdown anyway. GOD created us all, we should all be grateful!

    December 3, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  387. Adam

    If he's done it all season then whats the point of penalizing him. As my friend said Freedom of religion anyways he didn't over celebrate he just knelt and pointed to the sky he didn't jump up and down and scream like a maniac.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  388. Troy

    I think the referee was being plane out stupid, why would he call a penalty on something like that. I played high school football myself and we celebrated every time we scored.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  389. Austin

    I very highly dissagree with this call on account of the fact that he was not placing attention on himself but his beliefs. I am Atheist and I still believe it is moraly wrong to flag this act.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  390. Andrew

    The ref had no reason to flag him if I were him I would still pray

    December 3, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  391. hank

    the player was not showboating and should be able to do a silent prayer.

    December 3, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  392. Chelsea

    I believe the referee was out of line. If he was celebrating he would be jumping and hollering not kneeling. The kid was just sending his respects to Jesus. Like many bull riders are seen doing.

    December 3, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  393. Istas

    There is no reason that this should be frowned upon. It pertains to the first amendment. FREEDOM of speech!!!

    December 3, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  394. Leigh

    He was just thanking god he made this touchdown. I really think that penalty was unfair, he was just excited he got a touch down. So what these people are saying is Jesus and God are penalties?

    December 3, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  395. Charlotte

    I wouldn't stop kneeling for a quick prayer. In my religion, God comes first. Even before football.

    December 3, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  396. marshal

    that was a stupid peneltey

    December 3, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  397. cheyenne

    I would not stop praying after scoring a touchdown. I dont think he
    diserved to get a flag. Since he's done it before. What has changed?

    December 3, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
  398. leandra

    you should be able to celebrate as long as you dont get in your opponets face. They celebrate all the time in the NFL....

    December 3, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
  399. Conner

    Sure it may be unsportsmanlike conduct but he really wasn't taunting anyone. I believe that the foul shouldn't have been called because i believe everyone has a right to celebrate after a good touchdown no matter how crucial it is.

    December 3, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  400. Bill

    I think you should be able to celebrate as long as you dont take it to far.. I play 8 man football and i have saw poeple do the same thing that kid done and get away with it......

    December 3, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  401. Maddy

    I believe that he has every right to his personal religion and beliefs. If he were to do it for a long period of time or disrupts others beliefts then this could be a penalty but since he has been doing this many times and this has been the first time he has been flagged, it is inapproaite to penatilize him

    December 3, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  402. damion

    i will keep doing it because you have no right to penlize you for praying to the lord. if you do that you are penlizing the lord.

    December 3, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  403. Michaila

    The referee was denying the player's constitutional right to freedom of religion. There should not have been a flag called for excessive celebration. NFL players jump into the air and bump chests with each other and are not called, and this high school player was called for simply kneeling and pointing at the sky in a very respectful manner. He, as he said, was not calling attention to himself, but to Jesus Christ. I think in the end, he did take the best course of action by submitting to the referee, and I congratulate him.

    December 3, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  404. josh

    I think it is wrong for him to be penalized. I am a christian and maybe he wanted to say thank you to god. he was not trying to get attion.
    I think god will repay him.

    December 3, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  405. Annie

    This is ridiculous. Ever heard of freedom of speech? If little things like this are being penalized, there's no telling what will come next!

    December 3, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  406. Paul

    If he claims to have been calling out to Jesus and no one has said anything than it must have been some king of misconception. Therefore I do not agree with the penalty.

    December 3, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  407. jordan

    i think that it was a very smart play but i also think the reff should of called it a penalty.

    December 3, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  408. tara

    this is the united states. we promise freedom of relgion, and you cant wait three seconds for a guy to excercise his right? what a shame...

    December 3, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  409. Chucky

    I know that the dude is blessed. I love seing it. Those people, man! That brother did the right thing, oh yeah!

    December 3, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  410. Michael

    If he wants to be thankful, let him be. He was just honoring something that was important to him. I see it in all sports, hockey, baseball, basketball. They don't get penalized. He should just keep on doing what he's doing, a flag shouldn't matter, his teammates and coach would understand.

    December 3, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  411. Miiuh

    No. And why should I? You can't get penalized for showing your respect for Jesus. People have the right to their religions, and nobody can take that away from you.

    December 3, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  412. Michael

    If he had made a gesture for another religion, such as muslim, would he have been penalized? If you flagged him, now anyone that makes any gesture that may be related to their religion has to be flagged, too.

    December 3, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  413. ambria

    i am a christain and i would do the thing becuase that is what i was tought and i would not stop i would do it more becuase the last time i checked i had a right to practice my religine.

    December 3, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  414. Elizabeth

    The fact that he was giving the glory to God is entirely accepted in matter of Christian ethics. Matthew 5:10 says, "Blessed are the persecuted, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." It seems the intolerance of anything religious in public is getting higher, but what this boy did was totally acceptable. Our Constitution says we have the right to religion, and calling a foul on what he did is violation to that right. Kneeling down and pointing to the sky didn't hurt anybody.

    December 3, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  415. Burner

    What up with the crazy coach. Somebody alto rip that flag up, me. The player got a penalty, well how about changing the coach`s brain, it`s a little jacked up! Let the kid pray brother, and no penalty.

    December 3, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  416. Kayla

    He should not have gotten a flag. All he did is respect Jesus. He his just happy he got a touchdown, so let him celebrate they way he wants to celebrate.

    December 3, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  417. Bailey

    I think that if he was going to get penalized he should have been penalized the first time. I dont think he was overcelebrating, i think he was showing appreciation to God.

    December 3, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  418. Emma

    I don't think anyone should be penalized for worshiping their god.It really doesn't matter if your playing football.

    December 3, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  419. Trey

    the guy should get to pray because it was god who created this country, and allowed the freedom to play football. what in the world was the ref thinkin

    December 3, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  420. Steve

    I think thay the penalty was complety uncalled for. Alot of players pray before a game and I think that was the players way of saying thank you.Now if he is a good Catholic it shouldn't bother him . As I quote Jesus Christs last woeds on Earth " Father forgive them for they not know what they do". And Jesus was dieng.

    December 3, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  421. Isaac

    thats not fair! Its not fair to penalize a little cheer at the end of a touchdown

    December 3, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  422. Paloma

    Im sorry Carl but he should of enver got a penalty its his religion

    December 3, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  423. nick

    i think it is wrong to give him a penalty because in america we are supposed to have freedom of religion and the freedom to practice our religion and in my mind that is what he was doing practicing his religion and he shouldn't get flaged for that and honestly what is kneeling and pointing to the sky going to hurt???????

    December 3, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  424. Garrett

    What I would do if I got penalized for that is shout, "How in the whole entire world is that a penalty."

    December 3, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  425. MONTANA

    I think that was ridicules. God is the reason we came to America,and if he doesn't like that he needs to suck it up but not take it out on football players. Plus if l were that football player than I would do it every time and always give glory to the 1 and only god!

    December 3, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  426. Zack

    They should of not called anything. Because He was praising God. When did they make that rule that yo have to give up the ball when you score.

    December 3, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  427. mozes

    That was not cool who was that ref!!! I know he did somethin wrong but he was praying!!!

    December 3, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  428. Eddie

    No i dont agree because he was pobably saying thank you to God and worshipping God.

    December 3, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  429. Macy

    In the respect of god I think its perfectly fine to have done what he did. Its like saying thanks to your coach for winning, only he said thanks to god. I respect him for having courage.

    December 3, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  430. Elan

    I don't agree with this call at all.
    Just because that person prayed many times on the field after a touchdown doesn't mean that you have to throw a flag. If I were him, I would be praising god as well.

    December 3, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  431. Brianna

    I would do it again because if that's what he believes in and has been doing all season, why should this one penalty stop him. Religion is an individual freedom and right. If he's not doing any harm to anyone than why penalize him? If that's part of who he is. Then accept it and let him keep doing it.

    December 3, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  432. Rocky

    for anyone who says it's offensive: I'm as far from Christian as you can think and I am not offended at all. If you want to pray, then by all means pray. I agree with a previous comment that said the ref just made a stupid call, but if I did anything that the ref made a call on, I probobly wouldn't do it anymore.

    December 3, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  433. Brad

    I think that that is not fare because he should be able to point towards the sky because that is his religon. The referee had no right to do that.

    December 3, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  434. Jada

    i think that it shouldn`t be a penalty because if it was you would it be fair. ask your self that ?

    December 3, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  435. Lucy

    I think that the official is completely correct. The player should have not drove attention to himself even if it was for god.

    December 3, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  436. bellatrix

    I think it was ungodly to give that flag. It was also a uncristen thing to do. I also get that rools are rools, but he still has is first amendment.

    December 3, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  437. bellatrix

    If I would have goten that flag. I would have been so mad. It was unfare to give that flag.

    December 3, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  438. Vikki

    I don't agree. I would do it again and again and again even if I got fired from my job as a football player. Its thrilling to get a touchdown, and the player is just giving thanks to Jesus for his ability to get the touchdown.

    December 3, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  439. Ryan

    I don't agree with the flag. The player has a right to pray to his god after a touchdown. The flag should not have been thrown because he wasn't celebrating, he was thanking god. As a football player myself they should get rid of that rule all together and be aloud to show a little excitement after a big play.

    December 3, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  440. Natalie

    I do not agree, I think that he should be able to express his excitement with out being penalized for it. & if he has done it in the past without being flagged then why now?

    December 3, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  441. Polina

    I believe that if someone feels so strongly of god that they should show respect. I feel its not wrong to do what he did

    December 3, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  442. Kaitlyn

    I think that he should not have gotten the penalty, if he's thanking the lord for letting him have the touchdown then thats what he does nobody can make him change.

    December 3, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  443. Ben

    In my experience with football normally a person does a happy dance and gets called although this is the correct call. He still is showing attention to himself.

    December 3, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  444. Julius

    If the football player had already done this move many times before then why does he get penalized now instead of before?

    December 3, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  445. Brady

    This is just rediculous. First of all, you can't take emotion out of the game. Players should be able to celebrate a little! Secondly, it's not like it took that long, all he did was kneel, and pray something like
    "Thank you, God, for this touchdown" Thirdly, the Constitiution says as American citizens, we get the right to have the religion we want, and part of Christianity (which I'm assuming this boy is) is praying.

    December 3, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  446. Andrew

    Being a football player myself, I believe that he should not have done that religious move. Church is the place where you worship God, not the football field.

    December 3, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  447. Kaylee

    I think that what the football player did was okay and not a bad thing.

    December 3, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  448. Rebecca

    I would definetly not stop pointing to the sky after every touchdown, however, I would let go of the ball first, since that is what supposedly triggered the flag. The First Amendment says that people can practice any religion that they want. Why should that be limited in sports?

    December 3, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  449. Emma

    If that happened to me, I would be sooo mad!! But the referee's the one in charge. If he feels that way, fine. But that doesn't mean I should stop doing what I do. If it happens twice, then I'll stop. But until then, the player should keep praying.

    December 3, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  450. Salicia

    In the 1st amendment of the Constitution, it states that everyone has religious freedom. I believe that the football player had every right to say a quick little prayer. If other football players can do a touchdown dance, then how come he couldn't give some thanks? Its just not fair.

    December 3, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  451. Caitlin

    Although he was bringing attention, he has done this for a long time. Why pentalize him now. It his religious belief to that. It is the referee's problem. if he keeps doing it, he won't be letting his team down on flags, he will being leeting Jesus down by not thanking him for what he has accomplished.

    December 3, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  452. CHRIS

    I THINK THAT IS UNFAIR BECAUSE NFL PLAYERS DO IT ALL THE TIME
    AND THEY DON'T GET PENALIZE. SO I THINK THAT IS WORNG AND LIKE THEY SAID HE BEEN DOING THAT EVER SINCE HE BEEN PLAYING HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL. SO THEY NEED TO LET PEOPLE CELEBRATE THE WAY THEY WANT TO

    December 3, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  453. Nick

    As a football player myself I have seen many celibrations this one was not over the top a simple prayer after a touchdown is needed. Thank god for the merical of a touchdown!

    December 3, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  454. Alyssa

    People can thank god however way they want. They shouldnt have to get in trouble! Anybody that would literally punish some one for praying to the lord is very ignorant. Some people are more religious than others, but it still doesnt give anybody the right to just ruin the moment.

    December 3, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  455. Robby

    The player shouldn't have been penalized for what he had done though his action could have affected other people's beliefs of religion. Well, even though he had make that mistake it would have been an accident. Next time, he should just think of praying or praising God on the sidelines with further notice instead of acting in a excessive celebratory action.

    December 3, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  456. Kelsey

    i think he should be aloud to! He is just thanking god for the touch down! He didn't cause a scene, people were probably celibrating. Not watching the person who got the touch down!

    December 3, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  457. Jamie

    I think giving that kid a flag wasn't fair at all. The student has a right to combine things he cares about like religion and football. The first few times the guy prayed it obviously wasn't a problem so it shouldn't be a problem now. He hadn't called a lot of attention to himself or the fact he was praying. Everyone was looking at him for making the touchdown so pointing to the sky when you think about it wasn't that celebratory. If I was the kid I could just drop the football before praying.

    December 3, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  458. Bekah

    Calling a flag and penalizing him for doing that, is like penalizing him for using his First Amendment right of freedom of religion. So if anything, the referee should get in trouble, not the player.

    December 3, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  459. Cayla

    They guy wasn't doing anything wrong. Americans have a freedom of religion, so why would giving thanks to God after getting a touchdown be a bad thing?

    December 3, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  460. Chandler

    I think that if he had done that before he shouldn't be penalized now. If it was on me I would still pray thanks,but not that obvious. I mean, if they were the ones to pray they would fell it was a bad call too.

    December 3, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  461. Ben

    Why can someone spike the ball or do a little dance, but they can't praise the Lord?

    December 3, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  462. Benjamin

    Hey, Carl! I think technically yes, it was a penalty. However, I am surprised at how poor the referee's judgement was. I would also question the referee's motives. If the player had done any other non-religious celebration, would that flag still have been thrown?

    December 3, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  463. Sophie

    The guy should get to pray cause it not like hes putting on a big show .Plus he can just hand the ball over before praying.I dont see the big deal!

    December 3, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  464. Ben

    If it was technically against the rules of the game, I would stop celebrating, let alone celebrate religiously, which could have and did caused a large controversy.

    December 3, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  465. Ben

    I don't think it should have been a penalty. Maybe we as beleiver of God need to think about God more and seen this is a good reminder to give attention to God.

    December 3, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  466. Corey

    There is nothing wrong with spreading your religion in the middle of a single game, therefore I don't agree with the penalty.

    December 3, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  467. Brandon

    no way would i wouldn't stop nealing down to pray after getting a touchdown, in this country we have rights so if he wants to he can & being a pastors kid i think it's a good thing now that someone takes a stand.

    December 3, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  468. Mackie

    The ref was just following the rules. The question is, is it a good rule? I would stop dooing it until I got the rule changed.

    December 3, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  469. Samantha

    I don't think the player should have been penalized, true it may have affected others religion belief, but in the United States we have a right to free religion

    December 3, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  470. Jeff

    "I agree with Destinee,this is America you should have the right to believe in what u wanna believe."He was giving thanks to God, unlike most people who would give all the credit to themselves."

    December 3, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  471. Robbie

    I've seen this type of celabration all the time. Exceesive celabrating is always planned and takes a longer period of time. It was a bad call and thats period.

    December 3, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  472. Peyton

    I think that the penalty was not appropriate because you see football players pointing to the sky all the time to thank God for letting them score. I would keep doing it and forget about that ref. The coach should complain to somebody official.

    December 3, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  473. Josh

    I don't think he should've been penalized. There is no rule in the book that says he should be penalized. He has his rights to thank God just as other religions should have their own rights. I totally disagree with the call.

    December 3, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  474. Mackenzie

    I think it's wrong to penalize someone for thier religion. If thats what he does after every touchdown, the refs should have talked to the player and let it go. Like I said... it's just plain wrong!!!

    December 3, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  475. Samantha

    I don't think that that penatly was right . You should be aloud to pray to god. It is religion and everybody should be aloud to show how they love god.

    December 3, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  476. ben

    i dont agree with this penalty because it was a religious celebration and it can offend many people who believe in god

    December 3, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  477. josh

    the player shouldnt of been penalized becouse becouse you can do any celibrateion you after you put the ball down you can do any celibrateion and in church i learnd you should always pray to god after you do very good

    December 3, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  478. Hannah

    There is nothing wrong with praying to Jesus. Especially after a victorious moment. The reff should not have given a him a flag. The player should continue praying after touchdown, know matter what people say

    December 3, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  479. Jon

    I think that it was a stupid call. He wasn't brining attention to himself, he was bringing attention to God. So what if he kneels for 3 seconds and praises God its not a bad thing at all.

    December 3, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  480. Rachel

    I think that the referee shouldn't have called the penalty; in my opinion, the player did nothing wrong. In the end, though, the referee makes the final call.

    December 3, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  481. Noah

    i think he shouldn't have gotten a flag for just kneeling and talking to jesus because it dosen't seem fair.

    December 3, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  482. Sam

    I think this is probably the dumbest call I have ever seen. He was only thanking God for the touchdown he made . Personally I am offended by this call because Im a Christ follower it shows how the ref. took away someones religious freedom, and the"celebration" took all of 2 seconds big deal.

    December 3, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  483. trenton

    i think the refs should open there eyes!!! this kid wasnt show boating he was just doing what he thought was right.

    December 3, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  484. Max

    If I was in that situation I would keep doing it no matter what cause he was just doing a quick prayer and thanking god, I wouldn't see a problem with it at all

    December 3, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  485. Alyssa

    I think he shouldn't have been penalized. For him to be penalized for that is like him being penalized for his religous beilefs. He should be able to celebrate how he wants to and there is nothing wrong with thanking god for a touch down.

    December 3, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  486. Cece

    I believe that he was not doing anything wrong. He should be able to show religion. It would have been different if he started show boating or bragging.

    December 3, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  487. kirsten

    no thats not fair call he was just thanking god for the touch down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 3, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  488. Abigail

    First of all the contetution says that we have the freedom of religion. why would't this aply to him nealing down to take a brief pray? if i were that football player i would just keep on doing what i was doing!

    December 3, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  489. Jessa

    If it was me playing and I scored the touch down, I would of done the same thing, but I would be furious. That's his religion, thats what he believes, so let him do what he wants. What happened to Freedom of religion, maybe the referee didn't believe in the religion but it still doesnt give him the right.

    December 3, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  490. Jacob

    you know there is nothing wrong with a kid praying. The only thing i do not like is that the kid was punished for some thing he believes in. I think that his rights were lost.

    December 3, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
  491. andrew

    I would still be looking tothe sky after every touchdown....whocares what the ref says

    December 3, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  492. Jackson

    I think that the running back deserved to be given a penalty. He knew the rules and knew that you can't make any sort of celebration or, in his case, a prayer, when you reach the touch down zone.

    December 3, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  493. Ariah

    It shouldn't have been a penalty it may have caused attention but mabey his action looked liked he wanted to draw attention to himself even though he was just haveing a special moment and wanted to thank the lord for the victory.

    December 3, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
  494. Akayla

    I think it's not fair because I dosen't matter if you give blessing to god on football field it matters that give thanks for the victory.

    December 3, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  495. Meghan

    I think he should not be penalized for his religion. he has his own freedom of his religion.

    December 3, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  496. Viral

    This was a right and wrong call because he didn't want attention to himself because it was just a routine thing he did. But he also shouldn't have because he was there to play football and not there to thank god.

    December 3, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  497. Sarah

    The player should not get penalized, because he was saying thank you, and that was a good thing to do. There was nothing wrong when you did that. Plus he did it every time he played a game and never got penalized.

    December 3, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  498. Destiney

    I really dont think that was right and i would defintley do it agian because thats somthing that i beleave in. But on the other hand he didnt put down the football so I kinda understand.

    December 3, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
  499. Christina

    I very disagree with this. Because of 2 things 1) It may hurt people because of their religion. 2) If he has been doing this the whole year why should he get penalized now?

    December 3, 2010 at 7:56 pm |
  500. Melissa

    The player has the freedom of his actions. The player has his rights and beliefs outside and inside the field. The ref overreacted and saw this as over celebration.

    December 3, 2010 at 7:56 pm |
  501. Daniel

    I Don't agree with the penalty. It's not like he was doing a huge dance to draw attention. He was just thanking God.

    December 3, 2010 at 7:58 pm |
  502. Megan

    I think that penalizing someone for "bringing attention to Jesus" isn't a valid reason to flag a player, but if the ref had a certain reason for flagging him (such as possession of the ball after the touchdown) then I think that the ref was well in his right. Many people might see this as a shout against Jesus, but I feel that making this about God doesn't ring true. But the kid saying he wasn't going to point to Jesus on the field anymore... I think that he should do what he believes in.

    December 3, 2010 at 8:01 pm |
  503. wyatt

    I do not think this is the right call to make my the offical. The kid is just doing a minor celebration that he has done all year, its not like he is doing something like T.O, Moss, or Ochocinco. And i think that the kid should be aloud to continue doing his celebration because it doesnt hurt anything.

    December 3, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
  504. Ali

    I disagree with this penalty because you cannot flag somebody for their religious beliefs. Also, the football player had no intention of rubbing it in the other team's face.

    December 3, 2010 at 8:14 pm |
  505. Andy

    if i got a penelty for prasing jeasus i would get a touch down and give the ref the ball then pray because the play is ove and i cant get flagged

    December 3, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
  506. John

    I think he was wrongly flagged. He has every right to worship any god and in any way.If it offends someone they could turn the other way or just plain ignore it. If it was me i would do it again, and if anyone had a problem they need to look at the fact that 60% of the population is Christian. Everyone is supposed to be able to worship anyone in any way they want to in this "land of free religion",but Christians are always restricted on what we can do at sporting events because everyone is worried about offending some other religion. Its offensive to me when Christians are told what we can and cant do to worship.

    December 3, 2010 at 8:30 pm |
  507. Kevin

    Thats unfair that he got penalized for doing somthing like that. In my opinion, the referee had nothing better to do....

    December 3, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
  508. Faye

    I definately don't agree with this penalty. Football players do this frequently after scoring a touchdown and don't get penalized. It's not like he was pulling an Ochocinco and doing some crazy celebratory dance. He was simply thanking God. Although maybe this is more appropriate on the sidelines nobody should have a problem with it because it doesn't display bragging or anything of that sort.

    December 3, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
  509. Megan

    If i was the player that was flagged for praying after i would have been furious . But on the other hand i would continue in my belifes and keep prayung on the feild even if i got flagged

    December 3, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
  510. Haley

    I thought that we had the freedom of religon? And that as long as our freedoms don't get in the way of anyone elses that it was okay? This is ridiculous. That is his way expressing himself, players do it all the time. This isn't right. The people of America have the right to express their views and even the whitehouse has different religions being recongnized. What is this?

    December 3, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
  511. Haley

    How would other people be offended? He did nothing to offend anyone, that is his own, personal religion. The first amendment says we have religious freedom. His actions are not affecting anyone elses rights.

    December 3, 2010 at 8:48 pm |
  512. Stephen

    Carl I don't agree with that call. Thats like saying you don't belive in the lord. He is thanking the lord to be alive.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:06 pm |
  513. Becca

    This was an unfair penalty because it took like 2 seconds to pray and that it was not right to give a penalty to him so please read this or else I will be sad if you don't!

    December 3, 2010 at 9:10 pm |
  514. Stephen

    I think that penalty was way wrong. He was thanking the lord for him to get that tuchdown.It's not like he went up to the other team and said ha ha I got a tuchdown, and you didn't.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:23 pm |
  515. Colton

    I believe that the referee should not have called the penalty. America is a free country and you should be able to show your religion freely.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:27 pm |
  516. Raylene

    I think its wrong to flag him for wanting to neel and poing his finger. There is a thing as free rights, he does have a right to really quickly go on his knew. If there is a rule agains it, then I understand, but he has done it before then there shouldn't be any reason to get flaged for being religous during a game.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:37 pm |
  517. Jessica

    i think if he was going to pray to god that, that was the perfect time to do it. so he should've gotten penalized for what he believes in. thanking god ws the right thing to do, there shouldn't be anything wrong with that. that referee was way out of line. that was the player's belief, and i would have done the same thing.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:45 pm |
  518. allayha

    i think that he had the right to do what he did but the law said when touchdown u must drop the ball.

    December 3, 2010 at 9:49 pm |
  519. Hannah

    It's because of God that he is their, making that touch down.... why can't he express that? Players shouldn't get in trouble for saying a prayer of Thanksgiving....

    December 3, 2010 at 9:55 pm |
  520. Brittany

    Why, should that be a penalty? It is freedom of religion here, sure a line can be drawn somewhere... but not here, a line can be drawn anywhere sure, but why draw it here? this is not the spot, not only is it not the spot i don't think it;s anywhere near the spot for the line...

    December 3, 2010 at 9:57 pm |
  521. Samantha

    I think that he shouldn't have gotten out of the game it's not like he was saying something bad it was just a prayer. Besides, they should have counted his touchdown not just not put the touchdown just because of a prayer.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:11 pm |
  522. Matt

    I think its not fair because he was not trying to draw attention to him self, he was only trying to thank God for his gift.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  523. Jacob

    I don't agree with the penalty, its his religon and he can express it anytime we wants it's a right (yay carl!!!)

    December 3, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  524. Keiffer

    I feel that the penalty that was called was fair because, the excessive celebration rule has been in college and high school football for a long time now and that shouldn't change just because the student was doing it in the name of Jesus.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  525. Elijah

    I think what the player did was wrong. Praying, thanking, and praising God is okay, I do it every night, but on-field, his actions could offend some spectators, especially non-Christian people. In the future, that footballer should consider praying in a more personal area, such as at home, in a bathroom, or even very, very quietly to himself, rather than right in the middle of a public event where millions are watching.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  526. Madeline

    I don't agree with the penalty at all. We do live in the U.S.A. and have freedom of religion, so he should be able to continue his tradition. The whole action took no longer than a few seconds making it in not worth the call. Also, he is not drawing any attention to himself because he already has all the attention on him because he scored the touchdown. If I were him, I would next time praise Jesus from the sidelines to prevent further calls that could hurt the team.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  527. Ashley

    I think its plain crazy, what happened to freedom of religon. Its bad enough that they cant victory dance when they make a touchdown, but now they cant express thier religon. Im sure no one was offended by the action so I think its over the top!

    December 3, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
  528. Jasmine

    I don't think they should've flagged him. He can have his own religion and I don't see what trouble he was causing. I understand rules are rules but really? Is that seriously excessive celebration? Not in my book.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:47 pm |
  529. anne

    That football player should not had been penalized , since pointing at the sky is, not for me, excessive celebration.Furthermorw , he had done it in other games and was not penalized so it is just not fair. COME ON! It is just being a little grateful and showing your pride.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:47 pm |
  530. taylor

    well i dont think it is right because, if that is kind of his rituale must stick to it!! just not fair at all it would be like if u were in a fotball game and you can't huddle and make plans to win!...

    December 3, 2010 at 11:05 pm |
  531. Angie

    He doing that is apparently against the rules of football, and he should respect that, though praying and pointing to the sky seems to cause no harm whatsoever. He should just score a touchdown, keep the praying in his head, drop the ball, smile, have a good time, and pray when he is off the field. Everyone is happy 🙂

    December 3, 2010 at 11:05 pm |
  532. Dylan

    Everybody should be able to express their selves to Jesus or after a touchdown in any manner they want to!

    December 3, 2010 at 11:18 pm |
  533. John

    Is this the world we have come to? Its a shame to see someone be penalized for praising God. The player obviously wasn't trying to draw attention to himself and I think the ref knew that.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:18 pm |
  534. Tori

    The football player was simply saying a thank you! I was just to God. That referee had no right to penalize him for practicing his religion in a public place.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:28 pm |
  535. santos

    I think it was an inapropiate call because the player was thanking god, and he wasn't doing anything offensive.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:33 pm |
  536. susan

    everybody has different ways of showing there happiness when they have earned or won something in their life. I honestly think that getting penalized for something like that was unfair, but you should always becareful of what actions you take because they can affect you and make you unhappy and stick with you for life.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:34 pm |
  537. kyler

    I don't think the player should have got penalized by thanking jesus. I mean why would you get penalized by doing something everybody does baseball players do that when they get a double or triple. Why don't they get out. I just started doing that how come i'm not out.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:45 pm |
  538. Ryan

    You cant punish somebody for worshiping god! I would still do it but drop the ball first.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:54 pm |
  539. Kendra

    i first have to say that i'm shocked someone would do that, but n i wouldn't stop, i would keep giving thanks to the one and only who gave me the strength to make that touch down! but first i would give up the ball!

    December 3, 2010 at 11:56 pm |
  540. Johnny

    I think the penalty was totaly bogus. He has the right to point to the sky and give God the glory. He wasn't drawing attention to himself or bragging he was just doing his regular thing. The penalty was totaly uncalled for.

    December 4, 2010 at 12:08 am |
  541. Kyle

    I think that the penalty is unfair because the running back has been doing that for every game of the season, and he has the right to show his religion.

    December 4, 2010 at 12:27 am |
  542. Gabe

    I think it shouldn't be penalized he was showing his religon. He was praying to jesus and I think we all should at times. He shouldn't do it off the field now keep doing show your faith in what you beileve.

    December 4, 2010 at 12:40 am |
  543. Nicole

    I think he should of been able to express his freedom of religion, and it was wrong of the referee to asume he was trying to show off.

    December 4, 2010 at 12:46 am |
  544. Brittney

    As a Christian I believe we should be excessively celebrating Jesus. The bible says we’re going to be persecuted (Luke 6:22-23), I’d take that penalty any day. I mean for a high school student to take a stand like that says something. I think the ref is over exaggerating and what happened to freedom of religion? There’s kids out there doing drugs and having sex and a kid that wants to glorify God gets in trouble. How does that make since? It doesn’t. I must say I respect this guy and I hope he counties to do what he’s doing. The bible talks about God taking something that was meant evil against Joseph and using it to save people (Genesis 50:20). Maybe that’s what happening here. That guy will never know the effect he will have on people. I mean this could get people fired up for Jesus, I mean if he can take a stand why can’t you?

    God Bless,
    Brittney

    December 4, 2010 at 12:54 am |
  545. karthik

    I think that the Refree is in the other team. As why should someone give penalty for this kind of things. I think that what He did was not at all wrong.

    December 4, 2010 at 1:13 am |
  546. Alex

    I do not agree. You should not get in trouble for having religion and praying after you make a touchdown in a football game.

    December 4, 2010 at 2:12 am |
  547. Adam

    It's good that he is planning to stop doing such things because football field is not the best place for prayers. Every kind of sport should be neutral without influence of any religion, like politics. We need to separate these things. But to give a penalty for that? Someone could just talk to him,

    December 4, 2010 at 6:22 am |
  548. TREY

    They shouldn't have called the penatly. He was just worshiping his religon.

    December 4, 2010 at 8:01 am |
  549. Ben

    He sould of gave the ball to the referee first but that still shouldn't of been called because the referee allows them to spike the ball but not praise the lord!

    December 4, 2010 at 8:05 am |
  550. sammi

    People need to know god and be good to others

    December 4, 2010 at 9:16 am |
  551. Brooks

    I believe that this penalty was extremely uncalled for. The player should have the ability to pray to God when he gets a touch-down because in our constitution we have the right to express our religion. If this player has done it before, what was so special about this one time?

    December 4, 2010 at 9:41 am |
  552. Nick

    I dont think that he should be penalized for pointing to the sky he was just thanking jesus. Is that bad to point to jesus nowadays?

    December 4, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  553. Skyler

    Be flagged is worth your religion. If this was the first time being flagged for your normal rutine then keep doing it. He has a right to pray after every touchdown. It's one of his rights for being an American Citizen.

    December 4, 2010 at 10:57 am |
  554. NICK

    HEY ALL HE WAS DOING IS THANKING GOD FOR THE TUCHDOWN I WHOLUD DO THE SAME THING.

    December 4, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  555. Patricia

    i think that he should be allowed to express his religious success. i believe in the Bill of Rights , it says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." these referees were penetrating his religious freedom. so i strongly disagree with the following.
    TEE HEE

    December 4, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
  556. trinity

    i think its not fair because it was just a celebration for a tochdown and they do it in the NFL.

    December 4, 2010 at 12:49 pm |
  557. trinity

    i think what the football player was ok nothing bad.

    December 4, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
  558. Noah

    Everyone has the right to celebrate, he was just thanking Jesus for a moment. Plus if it was truly wrong he should've gotten flagged earlier in the season so he would know he was not allowed to.

    December 4, 2010 at 1:18 pm |
  559. Hunter

    THATS CRAZY! Thats just a stupid penalty. We have the right of religion and he was just praising God. I dont agree with the penaly because sometime I do that when I get a touchdown.

    December 4, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
  560. Aemilia

    I thought in the US your allowed to have your own religious beliefs, and if he's been doing that all year and just now got flagged, it doesn't seem right. If they thought it was wrong a long time ago, they should have flagged him a long time ago.

    December 4, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
  561. Brooke

    He shouldn't be penilized, if he wants to thank God he has every right to. Pointing and kneeling isn't that bad.

    December 4, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  562. Ashley

    I would still do it. You see people dancing with the football in their hands all the time after they scored a touchdown, so why can't you but your knee on the ground?

    December 4, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
  563. Monica

    This is BULL. People are so overly sensitive. If Jesus is the foundation of his life, and he wants to give the credit where it's due, he should be able to. Kneeling isn't going to offend anyone, and if it does, they need to open up their minds and get over it. Nowadays, if you see two homosexual men kissing in public and you're offended, you're closed minded and a horrible person. But to see someone kneeling for 3 seconds to give thanks to God causes an uproar? This is absolutely ridiculous.

    December 4, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
  564. Paris

    I think that's unfair to call a flag on him because at my schools football games the player who scores the touchdown as the football in his hands, kneels and points to god just like him.

    December 4, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  565. Paris

    I think that's unfair to call a flag on him because at my schools football games the player who scores the touchdown as the football in his hands, kneels and points to god just like him.they have not ever gotten a flag.

    December 4, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  566. mason

    if he has done times before why would the referies call it now
    the penaltie is very wrong should have been changed otherwise
    ow him a apology

    December 4, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  567. Hannah

    I believe that he has every right to point at the sky and glorify God; after all, Jesus was the one who helped him score that touchdown! What he did is just the kind of thing that people should admire, because not many people would draw attention to God in public like that. He is brave, and the referee was punishing him for that? If I was in his shoes, I wouldn't point at the sky anymore, but I would regret it every time. It was the referee's call, not his, but he still might get in even more trouble if he did it again.

    December 4, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
  568. Samantha

    I think it's stupid to penalize the kid for his beliefs. The kid wasn't hurting anybody or anything.

    December 4, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
  569. Hannah

    I would keep doing it. Why should I let one referee stop me from giving thanks to God? I understand the holding the ball too long penalty, but I don't understand how he was "drawing attention" to himself. God is the reason that he has his talents. God helped him make the touchdown. God is the reason that he's even there! Why can't he just give a few seconds of thanks without someone calling him out on it? The whole reason that the Pilgrims came to America was for freedom of Religion, and he has every right to praise his Lord. Has the ref forgotten all this?

    December 4, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  570. Jessie

    This country is about Freedom of Religion right? But If by being penalized for praying after a touch down is counted as a penalty then we are straying away from our constitutional rights.

    December 4, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  571. molly

    This seems againts freedom of religion! This does not seem fair to the athlete who got flagged. Though I think it is the referee's call and you have to just go with what they say. If it was my choice I'd say rematch!

    December 4, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  572. Tori

    I think that they should have just warned him first because its a dumb reason to give a flag for that.

    December 4, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  573. Rosie

    I don`t think he should of gotten a penitaly. He didn`t try to call attention to himself, and he`s done it before. Why should he be penilized for thanking god? If that was me I would keep praying no matter what.

    December 4, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  574. Nicole

    I think that the ref should have gave the flag. I think that if that is the way he wants to celebrate a great play from him and his team than he should have the right to do so. I honestly don't think that the player was trying to draw attention to himself, and I definitely don't think he would lie about it, (He said that he has done it in a game before).

    December 4, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  575. Dakota

    I think it would be unfair because he was just doing what he always does there is no reason that this should have been brought up if the other referees didn't have a problem with it

    December 4, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  576. Mikayla

    I disagree with that penalty...in my opinion you should'nt penalize someone for praying, especially if they have done that before they should have stopped him the first time so he wouldnt keep on doing it and think "why did i get a penalty i do that all the time?"

    December 4, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  577. Bailey

    I think it was a very dumb penality, He can celebrate the way he wants to. Like they said he does it every time he make a touchdown so whats so different this time?

    December 4, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  578. Olivia

    I think that it is wrong to give the penalty, because he was only showing thanks. A player should be able to show thanks/pray, especialy after he has done it before without being flagged.

    December 4, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  579. sami

    i do not agree with the penilty because he was just saying a prayer to the lord & he was asking him to help him & his team score more touchdowns

    December 4, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  580. Desiree'

    I don't think that should've been a penalty. If I was him I would just keep on doing it. I really don't care what the referee have to say.

    December 4, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  581. Tyrelle

    I think that it shouldent have been a penaltey

    December 4, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  582. Sarah

    I think that the kid should have giving the ball to the ref before he did he neal. The ref shouldn't of called accessive celebrating on the kid. I have seen a ton of people neal down and point to the sky for Jesus after a touchdown, and this kid is no exception.

    December 4, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  583. Emily

    THAT IS SSSSSSOOOOOOOO NOT FAIR!!!!!!!! The Reff can't stop him from prazing the lord for helping him. Hasn't that guy ever seen Facing the Giants. I bet not. If he hasent gotten a flag all weekend, than he SHOULDN'T GET ONE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!!!!!! ;).

    December 4, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
  584. jordian

    I wouldn't stop doing it because your not drawing attention to yourself your telling god thank-you not "over doing it".

    December 4, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
  585. Preksha

    so totally unfair
    like i don't understand footbbal and i know that is so unfair i mean i'm pretty sure that there should be a fairjudge not opinionated

    December 4, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  586. jakeb

    I am on the fence on this one. i say he should be able to praise God by pointing to heaven, but, in the referees defence many NFL players do this to draw attention to themselfs and not to God. if i were the referee i would have not called a penalty, but it is all a judjment call.

    December 4, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
  587. Dilan

    that was ridiculus call! the ref wasn't thinking AT ALL. It is right to give God the glory in ALL we do. We can't do anything without help from God!!

    December 4, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  588. Taby

    that was a stupid call. you should always give your greatest accomplishments to God, even if it involves school and sports.

    December 4, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
  589. Ryan

    On the field, the referees may be wrong, but they are always right. In other words never disagree with the call made by an official whether he is wrong or right. Learn from mistakes and never attempt it again.

    December 4, 2010 at 8:43 pm |
  590. emma

    Robby why could it have affected someone ELSE'S beliefs of religion??? It was not an "excessive celebratory action". And I think that the penalty was stupid. He needs to stick up for what he believes in and say something to the coach and to the school. They have
    NO right to penalize someone for pointing to the sky when you are praising and thanking GOD!!!!! This penalty is ridiculous.

    December 4, 2010 at 8:49 pm |
  591. emma

    He was not over the top at all. This penalty is so stupid. Why are people taking GOD out of everything??? This is basically what it is. He was kneeling and pointing to the sky!!! He was NOT drawing attention to himself. He was drawing attention to GOD!!!!! They need a new referee that has some brains.

    December 4, 2010 at 8:54 pm |
  592. tyler

    i do not agree with this call, the runner wasn't trying to taunt the other team he was giving thanks to Jesus for the touchdown and there should not be a penalty for that it was a bad call

    December 4, 2010 at 8:54 pm |
  593. Taylor

    Freedom is what america is all about. Why not tie religion in with what you love. besides he has been doing it for a while to. this was not over the top. He was simply praising god for the touchdown. And I doubt it was the first touchdown they got in the game.

    December 4, 2010 at 8:59 pm |
  594. Andy

    I think that it is totally unacceptable to penalize someone for expressing their thanks even though the separation of church and state allows penalties. Although some people find this ruling acceptable, I disagree and think that anyone should be able to express their religion in a nonviolent way.

    December 4, 2010 at 9:09 pm |
  595. Ricky

    I think the penalty was wrong because players at all levels do iit al the time. The browns running back; Peyton Hillis does it after every touchdown. If i were the players coach, i would have the entire team point to the sky after their touchdowns

    December 4, 2010 at 9:17 pm |
  596. Andrew

    The player shouldn't be penalized for his religion and thanking God. But I see why the ref did it because he was attracting attraction to himself. But I wouldn't give up my faith for anything.

    December 4, 2010 at 9:31 pm |
  597. tyler

    I would still do it because he's just being happy for scoring, it's about time someone showed some thankfulness for god {on the field }good job football player keep rock'in

    December 4, 2010 at 9:32 pm |
  598. BrookLyn

    I would definitly keep doing it just not on the field. Those people do not understand what unsportsman like conduct is they should look it up. SERIOUSLY!!! You get to choose whether or not you worship God so please let the people who do have their time when they would like it!! Don't give a penalty IT"S RUDE!!

    December 4, 2010 at 9:36 pm |
  599. Jabez

    Thats not right because he is thanking jesus that not show boating!

    December 4, 2010 at 9:41 pm |
  600. Jabez

    i agree with chris NFL players do it all the time and don't get penalized.

    December 4, 2010 at 9:44 pm |
  601. Savannah

    I think that this is both a fair penalty and an unfair penalty. On one hand, his display was excessive, because many public schools have rules against showing favor of a religion during school events. However, a right of an American citizen is freedom of religion, so the penalty could have been unfair, too.

    December 4, 2010 at 9:46 pm |
  602. Erin

    The player should have given the ball up once he scored the touchown, then prayed. In some ways this was a justified and in other ways it wasn't.

    December 4, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
  603. Alex

    That is not right he was thanking God for giving him the ability and skill to make the touchdown and now he is being punished for it that is just wrong.

    December 4, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  604. Zac

    There is no point to the flag when you look at the pros you will find they all do it the same way. Anyway all he is doing is thanking the lord for the touchdown whats wrong with that?

    December 4, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
  605. Abigail

    I think that the player should not be penalized for the action. He has been doing it all year and just now the refs' have a problem with it. If i was the player I would keep doing it, at the end of the day does a person want to be known as a person that gave it to the world because they didn't go with the crowd. I am sad to know that all over this country, America, Land of Free is under attack.

    December 4, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
  606. Hailey

    If he has been doing it all year and hasn't gotten penalized for it all year why do it now? It's not like he is trying to be unsportsmanlike he is just thanking God that he could make a touchdown for his team. So unless it offended the other team or people I don't think he should stop.

    December 4, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
  607. Bradley

    The Ref was way to quick to throw that flag, he was looking for the opportunity to penalize someone for being Religious. I don't believe giving the glory to God for a touch down is considered "excessive celebration".

    December 4, 2010 at 11:27 pm |
  608. vanessa

    anyone on almost any football team does a little dance after a touch down so why can't he do a quick prayer?

    December 4, 2010 at 11:31 pm |
  609. Sam

    I have seen things in foot ball that should be flagged but never did, and for this person to get flagged for kneeling and pointing to the sky, is it wrong to do a small prayer on the field?

    December 4, 2010 at 11:32 pm |
  610. vanessa

    almost anyone on a football team does a little dance after a touch down so why can't he do a quick prayer?

    December 4, 2010 at 11:32 pm |
  611. Sophie

    I think that he has the right to believe in his religion and show it. But it was probably not a great idea to show it in the game, and be drawing attention. He should know the rules of Football and how they are affective. That penalty was really his own fault and his only.

    December 4, 2010 at 11:33 pm |
  612. Dakota

    I think that that was an unfair flag to the player because that was by no means excessive. He was simply thanking God which every player should have the right to do. I find it crazy that this player is penalized for kneeling and praying while you see college players jump into the stands after scoring a touchdown and getting no flag for it. Very disappointing!

    December 4, 2010 at 11:48 pm |
  613. Austin

    you guys are confused. he got the penalty because he did not follow the (stupid) WIAA football rules and regulations. according to these rules, "the player must give up the football IMMEDIATELY after scoring a touchdown.:
    HOWEVER, i don't agree with this call at all.
    A) he has not been called on this all year.
    B)Paloma, football referees job is not to violate the US Constitution. to you 1. he has freedom of religion b. he has freedom of expression and c. its a freaking football game. He's not trying to say everyones religion dumb.
    C) According to THESE rules, if a player DOES NOT SPRINT FOR HIS LIFE IMMEDIATELY TO THE REF ITS A 15 YARD PENALTY.
    So if he jumped up and down for the 2 seconds he knelt, would that be a penalty? if he walked to the ref (which would take 5 seconds) would that be a penalty? It took LONGER for the ref to explain the penalty than when he knelt.

    December 5, 2010 at 12:42 am |
  614. Maria

    That football player did the right thing praying to Jesus. I thought that was the most wonderful thing to see. Now i say that he is Blessed.

    December 5, 2010 at 12:46 am |
  615. Jackson

    I thought that it was a bit unfair. America is a free country, and he wasn't doing it for attention. He has the right to be thankful for his life. He can do what he sees as fair. It's offensive on the ref's part, since it's a bit like saying: "HEY! NO FOLLOWING RELIGION ON A FOOTBALL FIELD!" It's just kinda silly.

    December 5, 2010 at 5:38 am |
  616. Brie

    I don't think he should have recieved a flag. He is thanking Jesus, for the ability to be able to score a touchdown. If people are allowed to pray in school, he should be able to kneel for a quick prayer after scoring a touchdown.

    December 5, 2010 at 9:24 am |
  617. Garrett

    Hey, if the player was not penalized before, why start now? I just don't think its fair because you see a bunch of other touchdown dances that sometimes are really crazy but you don't see refs penalizing them!

    December 5, 2010 at 10:04 am |
  618. Claire

    The penalty wasn't on praying, it was just that the player didn't give the ball to the referee immediately and he drew too much attention to himself. If I were the player, I would still practice my religious beliefs, and pray freely, but would not penalize my team.

    December 5, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  619. Denise

    I think that's pretty cheesy! If you celebrated, or prayed or whatever after a touchdown, that should be okay. If that is his way then that is his way. You shouldn't stop him for what he believes in. And does it really matter if he was pulling attention to himself? I don't see the big deal. He shouldn't have been flagged.

    December 5, 2010 at 11:08 am |
  620. CHEYENNE!!!

    I don't think its far, because they said he did that every time he got a touchdown and he didn't get penalized.Just drop the ball or go to the sidelines and do whatever you want to.:)

    December 5, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
  621. Courtney

    This is crazy. I've seen many sports games where people express their religion in some way. His actions weren't hurting anyone.

    December 5, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
  622. Michelle

    i honestly don't think that he should have been penalized for his action, especially if he had done it before without penalty. I honestly don't think that kneeling is an excessive celebratory action compared to other actions such as chest bumps and smacking helmets. Simply kneeling and pointing to the sky does not seem nearly as "excessive" when it comes to celebrating in this situation.

    December 5, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
  623. Nolan

    Rules are Rules.There are no exceptions.He should be punished for not obeying them.If he or anyone has complaints then they should take them to the authorities on the matter.

    December 5, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
  624. Octobre

    I personally wouldn't pray or thank a god in such an outward way, but I certainty do not believe you should be penalized for you beliefs. Just let the kid give appreciation to whatever he wants and leave him alone.

    December 5, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
  625. omar

    I'm an atheist and hate sports, still think it was too harsh.

    December 5, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  626. Mary

    I don't think the referees understand what calling attention to oneself means; maybe they should watch some NFL games and they'd understand that thanking God is not attention seeking when compared to the celebrations most football players do.

    December 5, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
  627. Alex

    That seems really disrespectful to his religion, and himself. Letting him do it and suddenly breaking on him was NOT the right thing to do. He's the only player I know that does that, so I know he's not bragging.

    December 5, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  628. Mary

    Some people think that it could offend people with different religions, but he wasn't attacking their religion, he wasn't even promoting his own, he was just thanking God. People need to be more confident in their own beleifs and stop worrying about other people with different beleifs.

    December 5, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
  629. Christian

    I disagree with the because if he never got a penalty for praying when getting a touchdown before why sould they give him one now. If this would of happened to me even if I knew it was unnecessary I would not do it again so my team dosn't have to receive a penalty for what I did.

    December 5, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  630. Bran

    I do not agree with this, I think he was trying to show off and got caught. He is trying to get out of it by saying he wanted god to see him.

    December 5, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  631. Christian

    I disagree with the penalty because if he never got a penalty for praying when getting a touchdown before why sould they give him one now. If this would of happened to me even if I knew it was unnecessary I would not do it again so my team dosn't have to receive a penalty for what I did.

    December 5, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  632. Tyler

    the reffs need to know what football is. he is praising god for his good run not to show off.

    December 5, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  633. Channing

    I think and this is just my opinion that it could offend others who are not Christian if you do the Sign of the Cross at a football game. Also you still shouldn't bring religion into a game because it could offend the spectators and players at the game. In my opinion I am kind of neutral on this but, if I had to chose a side I would chose the referee's side.

    December 5, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  634. Colin

    I don't agree with this penalty, he was just thanking god for the touchdown, and showing that he appreciated god for giving him that it. I don't think he was in any means trying to show off. Just thanking god.

    December 5, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  635. Peter

    Excessive celebration? Where were the penalities for the war dances, chest butting, etc. then? If you can't thank God, is it OK to thank your Mom, your team mates or coaches on TV? In my opinion the NCAA and that referee owe the American public an apology for disgraceful and apalling interpretation of the rule.

    December 5, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  636. Austin

    "Rules are Rules.There are no exceptions.He should be punished for not obeying them.If he or anyone has complaints then they should take them to the authorities on the matter."

    the rule is to give the ball IMMEDIATELY to a ref. so that means that every touchdown this year needs to be penalized because a player must SPRINT FOR HIS LIFE to the ref and give him the ball or its a penalty. If he jumped up and down (which would take the same time might i add) then handed the ref the ball is that a penalty? didn't think so.

    December 5, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  637. caleb

    I think the ref should have let him get away with it because the kid didn't know that the ref would give him a flag. I think the player shouldnt do it again because it wont hurt not to do it.

    December 5, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
  638. simka

    What is the purpose of the act?
    "Thank you Jesus for taking your attention away from those Haitians with cholera and letting me score a touchdown."
    or
    "Thank you Jesus for giving me ability to score a touchdown." (unlike those you decided to cripple).
    or
    "Thank you Jesus for protecting me and keeping me safe on this field."

    Whatever the message it could be done on the sideline. Flag him.

    December 5, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  639. Brian

    He might of had not gave up the football but the foul was on excessive celebration. He deserved to celebrate for a moment

    December 5, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  640. Abby

    I can understand where the ref's are coming from but I can also see where the running back is coming from too. But why would I stop from reaching out to what I believe in just because of 1 penalty made in the game? I don't think 1 ref should "change" how the runningback is playing...

    December 5, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  641. Cade

    I think that it was a bad call. If that happened to me I would keep doing it. The refs call that bringing attention to yourselves but not when you slam dunk it through the goal post??????

    December 5, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  642. Megan

    Why can't he do a quick, innocent, little prayer? It was wrong of the ref to penalize him just because he didn't agree with it. That would be like seeing someone pray in school and a teacher giving him/her detention for "excessive celebrating" for getting an "A" on a test.

    December 5, 2010 at 7:12 pm |
  643. Nathan

    The referee was right. As a referee, this flag is true. Depending which rule book the ref has, depends on the outcome. But mine says " (Summary of Chapter 14 Sec # 23-27) One who shows religion (or any type of praise to another more powerful to himself) should be flagged and warned, if done twice, remove. (rules depend on school district rules, if not a religion District/School, don't allow it!) ". Again, these are high school rules, but the NFL allows it. I'm not so sure on the College teams though..... And besides, there are more than one referee on the field, so they all had to agree at some point or talk about it in more detail. Don't forget, that a previous play or action might have swayed the referee to throw the flag. But in my opinion, it was a good call.

    December 5, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  644. Sebastion

    I think it is good that he is expressing his religion, But maybe not so much at a public place. Not everyone has the same views on religion. But the fact that they are just now flagging him makes no sense at all.

    December 5, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  645. Caroline

    If people don't want him to celebrate then why not just make him sit out the whole game.I mean thats the point.You are supposed to to try to make a touchdown, and I know if I made a touchdown I would be proud.For sure I would celebrate and probably do the same thing.I don't agree with that referee at all.

    December 5, 2010 at 7:47 pm |
  646. Andrea

    The guy was just thanking god and he got flagged, if you ask me thats very unamerican.

    December 5, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
  647. Ethan

    I would not stop because we all have freedom of religion and he was just exercising this right, he should keep doing this as much as he wants

    December 5, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
  648. Tessa

    It's his right to thank God. There should have been no reason why he was flagged. I would keep pointing to the sky and thanking God, the ref was way out of line on this call, there was no excessive celebrating, and if thats what he thought then he needs to watch how the pros react.

    December 5, 2010 at 9:04 pm |
  649. Alyssa

    People in this world have a right to call to the Lord. At least, in the USA. Some people are extremely dedicated to their religion. If that ref can't understand that, he needs to kiss his referee license good-bye. That player was merely thanking the Lord for allowing him to be in this world and get that touchdown. If the ref can't understand that, he can't understand what it's like to feel good about him/herself.

    December 5, 2010 at 9:38 pm |
  650. Tracey

    The way he was treated was wrong. You are taught in church to show God through everything you do and he was doing just that. The day when we are penalized for our beliefs is the day that we are wronged. If we can't show God then we risk others eternities. I refuse to let someone tell me that I can't do that. I know I want everyone to be alive with Jesus, so why is this strong player getting told he can't celebrate his religon?

    December 5, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
  651. Natalie

    I think he should not get a penelty because thats his religon and not doing anything wrong.

    December 6, 2010 at 12:15 am |
  652. Minnie

    I honestly think that what the ref did wasn't fair. In my opinion they should let people express themselves in whatever way they feel is right. It's like telling someone who goes to chruch telling they can't express themself to God. All they can do is leave because they don't believe in God. Maybe they need to feel the presence of God to know that their in the right place at the right time. By the way love your show Carl.

    December 6, 2010 at 7:00 am |
  653. Ashwin

    I think that the penalty was completely fair, there should be no exceptions even for religious beliefs. He was calling attention to himself while doing that, except in a different way. I think it is okay that he thanked God, but he should have done it off field and in his head.

    December 6, 2010 at 7:50 am |
  654. Jio

    I think I will just pray to god.

    December 6, 2010 at 8:02 am |
  655. Kai-Lin

    I don't think he is like being a sore winner. i think he should be able to have freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Like when the referee flagged him it was not right. Well i don't think so. He wasn't like gloating by doing that.

    December 6, 2010 at 9:08 am |
  656. AJ

    i would still really want to do it on the feild, but since there are so many religions, it could insult the other religions on the team or in the stands.but, i would for sure do it off the feild

    December 6, 2010 at 9:10 am |
  657. Julianna

    That not fair if he wanted to pray to God or just celebrate he should be allowed because if that was his first touch down then he would probably be really happy.

    December 6, 2010 at 9:11 am |
  658. Christian

    I think that its was understandable for the ref to pull a flag not understanding that she was praying to, you have to remember he was just doing his job. On the players side it could've been a big offense not allowing the player to pray to God after a big touch down it should go ether way.

    December 6, 2010 at 9:12 am |
  659. jaret

    if you don't like make fun of the other team then you should not get penalized.

    December 6, 2010 at 9:13 am |
  660. andy

    why flag someone praying..they don't flag many people acting like monkeys or dancing like Micheal Jackson .I think that was an uncalled for penalty

    December 6, 2010 at 9:19 am |
  661. savannah

    i think he has the right to point to the sky and thank god he shouldn't have got penalized for doing so.He has done it so many other times why do they penalize him now? no one can tell you that you can't pray or have a religion.

    December 6, 2010 at 9:24 am |
  662. Andrew

    Why would you flag some one for thanking Jesus? What is wrong with that? The referee should quit refereeing if he is going to flag a high school kid for thanking Jesus.

    December 6, 2010 at 9:41 am |
  663. Clive

    I don’t think what the player did was a penalty. In high school football I’ve seen players celebrate longer without getting a penalty. It all depends on the type of ref you have though. When you play you have to know what kind of officials you are dealing with and what calls they will make.

    December 6, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  664. Mahala

    I think it was really unfair for the refrees to do such a thing, that football player had the freedom and the right to point to the sky,or to God, isn't that one of our American freedoms, to have the right in our religon? I don't think the refrees should have done that, it was totally not the right thing to do!

    December 6, 2010 at 11:15 am |
  665. Eliza

    Thats not fair. Why would you get a penalty for that? it doesn't make any sense. The things that other football players do probably get more attention than what he did and they don't get penaltys, there is nothing wrong with thanking God.

    December 6, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  666. Brent

    Myself, I think that he has the right to. Now, for excessive celebration, come on. That's not a good enough reason to flag it.

    December 6, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
  667. Gerek

    I think he should be able to do stuff like that if he wants, but he can't do it every time.

    December 6, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
  668. Mallory and Grace

    We think that this penalty is WRONG. We believe that this football player had the right to say a prayer and point to the sky. He was thanking God for the touchdown, and he did it every time but just that game he got a flag?! We think he should drop the ball first next time, but still God comes before the rules of football. With out God he probably wouldn't even have gotten the touchdown.

    December 6, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
  669. paige

    I think that it was wrong that they penalized him for praying. If he wants to pray then let him. He could have helped the situation by dropping the ball but he wasn't doing anything wrong.

    December 6, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  670. ethan

    i would do it again and again just to annoy the ref because thats just me and who do they think they are penalizing religon thats a crime i think

    December 6, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  671. Alaska

    I think that it's really wrong for a referee to do that! I mean..the kid is just trying to celebrate! Also who said, that you couldn't point to God? If thats the case...i think definitely really wrong. It just a finger pointing to the sky...i mean really?!

    December 6, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
  672. nate

    this should have not been a penalty because he was speaking to god or thinking god

    December 6, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  673. nadejah

    rules are rules you should not always get punished for every thing just for not obeying once maby twice.

    December 6, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  674. Rosie

    Well i think that the call is wrong. It is not right to make a call for ' calling attention to their selves. He has been doing that all season. Why would he goe called for that know? Almost the end of the season and the winning goal. ? That is sooo stupid.

    December 6, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  675. kyonia

    i think it was right

    December 6, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  676. Patrick

    That's wrong because i have seen games and players thanking god is not a problem that's just wrong.

    December 6, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  677. Megan

    I think it is stupid that he was penalized. He was only thanking Jesus. I would have kept doing it because it was like a tradition for him to always point to Jesus when he got a touchdown.

    December 6, 2010 at 8:30 pm |
  678. Ryan

    He shouldn't have been penalized. What he did hardly qualifies as calling attention to himself. Kneeling for a few seconds is nothing compared to the crazy stuff NFL players do almost every game.

    On a separate note, penalizing this for an expression of religion is a violation of constitutional rights, and he isn't doing anything that would violate the rights of others. People shouldn't be offended by seeing a simple prayer, regardless of what their religion is

    December 6, 2010 at 8:48 pm |
  679. Paul

    I think it was a bad call as I do not agree that he over celebrated. He acted quite calm compared to players in the NFL. The ref caused more commotion then the player did.

    December 6, 2010 at 8:53 pm |
  680. Emma

    There were no rules that say you can't knell and point to the sky!!! This penalty is ridiculous!!!

    December 6, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
  681. Sara

    I live in Washington and I find it completely unfair to stop someones religion becaue it was "Against The Rules" Thats like saying to someone "Ohhhh you comited today this Sunday so you can't go to church"

    December 7, 2010 at 12:59 am |
  682. sary

    i think that he did not deserve to be flagged. Im not a football fan but i dont think its right we have the freedom of religion and if what he did was religion he still had a right to do what he did. but i would also have dropped the ball then thanked god.:)

    December 7, 2010 at 1:45 am |
  683. Bailey

    I watched this and it made me feel sad. I am a Christian myself. Thanking God isn't a bad thing in my thoughts. Plus, he has done this every time, and they have never flagged him before. So why start now! Listen to the first amendment of the constitution! Freedom of Religion! Even though it is against the rules of the game to draw attention to yourself, I hear him out when he said he was drawing attention to Jesus. I believe that it was wrong to call a flag upon him.

    December 7, 2010 at 9:21 am |
  684. mikiah

    well i think he shouldn't have been penalized for doing that type of thing there is no rule that doesn't allow you to celebrate like that. but i can understand excessive celebration but over that its a bad call by the referee .

    December 7, 2010 at 9:29 am |
  685. Narrik

    I think it was wrong for the referee to call a penalty on the running back because he was just thanking Jesus for the help and he was just showing his religion.

    December 7, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  686. Emma

    AGAIN THERE ARE NO RULES THAT SAY YOU CAN'T KNELL DOWN AND POINT TO THE SKY. FURTHERMORE HE WAS CALLING ATTENTION TO JESUS NOT HIMSELF. HE WAS PRAISING GOD AND HE WAS NOT OVER THE TOP AT ALL. YOU CAN'T REALLY BE OVER THE TOP WHILE PRAISING JESUS. THEY NEED A NEW REFEREE THAT KNOWS THE RULES.

    December 7, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  687. Camille

    I would keep celebrating like that. If it was something that was rude and offensive, then maybe change would be needed. But it was nothing to be offended by, he pointed his finger to the sky to praise Jesus. There is absolutely nothing offensive by that.

    December 7, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  688. joey

    i think hei think shouldent be penalized because he was just being thankful for having something good en yo his life. like he did it for the whole year so far and never got penalized in one game.

    December 7, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  689. Robert

    In America we have Freeom of Religion. The ref had NO right to pull the player of the the field just for expressing his religion and thanks God for the blessing of getting a touchdown. Therefore, I disagree with the the fact of the ref pulling him off of the field.

    December 7, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  690. Haya

    There's nothing bad about thanking God for something , and also the referee doesn't have proof that the player was calling attention to himself .Anyway I would pray to god but just not on the field.

    December 7, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  691. Tywayne

    no i dont think the player should be penalized because he is just showing his thanks to god for his talents in football

    December 7, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  692. Shelby

    That penalty was unfair, if we are premitted to speak our relgious views outside of the field then why can't he point to the sky on the field . . . instead of giving him a penalty they should give them to the ones who are danceing and singing when they score a touchdown . . . .it's just unfair

    December 7, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  693. NICK

    I would of done the same thing but i had know idea that you had to drop the ball I mean its like saying that its wrong to pray after scoring a touchdown and it was a really bad call on the referee.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  694. shae

    ha that refree thought that was a big celebration has he ever seen NFL

    December 7, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
  695. Malia

    It is really sad that people don't appreciate what some people believe

    December 7, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  696. stephanie

    i don't think it was right to give him the penalty for having faith

    December 7, 2010 at 9:02 pm |
  697. richard

    The referee just was mistaken about his intent and by the time the referee found out it probably was too late to take it back.

    December 8, 2010 at 10:50 am |
  698. payton

    I don't think that the player did anything wrong. He pointed to the sky and players have been doing this for a long time. Flipping into the endzone is something to get penalized for not pointing to he sky.

    December 8, 2010 at 10:53 am |
  699. Levi

    I think this penalty is wrong because it would be like the referee telling the player not to belive in what he believes in.

    December 8, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
  700. Josh

    I think the penalty was to much and the ref should retake the course on how to penalize celebration.

    December 8, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
  701. Ethan

    I think that it was totally not fair!!! I mean he's done it all the time

    December 8, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  702. Justin

    I think that it should not be a penalty because he's just praying to God.All he's doing is getting down on one knee and pointing to the sky. He's not bragging or anything, he's just happy he got the touchdown.

    December 8, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  703. Tia

    A little bit of a celebration is okay, but throwing a fit about it is bad sportsmanship. And it's ESPACIALLY bad if you use Jesus' name for excuse. It's obvious he was looking for a reason to get attention and had a plan b incase he got penaltied.

    December 8, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
  704. Alek

    That's just not right to do that to a football player. who gets hurt all the time in that game. and they are going to penalize a guy for praying when he got a score.I mean when they get hurt everyday.MESSED UP

    December 8, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
  705. Bryce

    I think that the celebrating rule should be done with anyway but if it's a religious gesture than I think that should be an exception.

    December 8, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  706. Damian

    That was really wrong people can't even praise god now and days. People are leaving god out of everything which is not good. We need to include go in our lives specially these bad days.

    December 8, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  707. Eyre

    That refee, I believe violated that football player's freedom of religion by flagging him saying in no words that one can not pray for thanks after making a touch down. Kinda like how Kenncott had Michigan state police arrested several Native Americans in Baraga, Michigan because they were praying on what to them is sacred land known as Eagle Rock in the Yellow Dog Plains which the state had lease to the mining company. They were on State and Public lands that have now been fenced off and made into private lands for the mining of sulfide copper that lies under the rock and part of the Salmon Trout River.
    They violated the Baraga tribe members' right to freedom of religion and I doesn't sit well with me when the freedom of religion is treated like it is allowed when it a LAW.
    Sorry about the rant but I am Wiccan so it really bugs me to see other religions violated by those we are to protect us and those who say they want to help us. Michigan's upper Penisula doesn't need a mine that will ruin the beautiful lands up here.

    December 9, 2010 at 8:46 am |
  708. Abbey

    We are all entitled to our freedom of religion and there was nothing wrong with what he did 🙂

    December 9, 2010 at 10:16 am |
  709. Eric

    I don't see one reason how this would extremely offfend someone on an extreme level. Putting a football in the air wouldn't offend me to the point where I had to start all this. Bottom line was this was totally blown out of what is was really supposed to be.

    December 9, 2010 at 11:34 am |
  710. Jessica

    I think that is so unfair! im a religous person so I think that guy should keep doing it because it seems un fair for him to get a pentaly just for pointing at the sky for god!

    December 9, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  711. Winston

    The ref should keep his flag to himself like a good boy, and not get all flag happy when a person is celebrating a good thing, its not like he's saying thanks to the devil.

    December 9, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
  712. Anna

    I dont think he should have gotten a penalty, he didnt do anything wrong. He should have given the ball up first, but i dont think he should have gotten a penalty for praying.

    December 9, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
  713. seth

    that ref had no place in throwing that flag. He was not over celebrating he was simply thanking god for what he had done.

    December 9, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  714. Aubrie

    I am a christain but i do agree with this penalty in some aspects. I think that if the rules say you must put the ball down immidiatly after the touchdown you should follow it. i do not think the penalty was entirly fair but if it was a rule you need to follow it.

    December 9, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  715. Anthony

    I think that the penalty was completely uncalled for,he was giving all the glory to GOD. He wasn't trying to bring attention at all,he was giving God attention and thanks.

    December 9, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  716. michael

    i think he did the right thing by praying but flaging someone for praying is a offence to chrstians all across the nation still i would have waited to get off the field and pray

    December 9, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
  717. Courtnie

    I think it is wrong to flag someone for their beliefs. You see pro football players do the same thing and they don't get flaged.

    December 9, 2010 at 8:41 pm |
  718. Carson

    I think that he should have dropped the ball, but I think he had every right to praise Jesus! That is his religion, and as Americans, we should be able to accept that. After all, freedom of religion is in the constitution.

    December 9, 2010 at 9:19 pm |
  719. Kathryn

    I SO do not believe that it was the right thing to do because all he did was point to the sky. He was expressing his love and thanking God for his win. I would do the same thing that boy did beacuse I have the same belief. I do not understand that referee because how could something so small have such wrong consequences for his religion.

    December 10, 2010 at 12:19 am |
  720. Baily

    Personally, i think it is a stupid to flag someone for that reason. To me it is like the ref is telling him to not pray and thank Jesus.

    December 10, 2010 at 11:39 am |
  721. jakey

    i were shaggy pants so im a thankin not

    December 10, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
  722. Jasmine

    this is the u.s ppl freedom of speech to do wat they like....get over it....:(

    December 10, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
  723. jenah

    The freedom of religion should have protected him. even in a football game. The guy who did it must be anti christian because i don't think an atheist would have given a care on what religion he was representing.

    December 10, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  724. Keegan

    I think that it didn't need to be called. I probably would have over celebrated too; i bet a lot of other people would have. There was nothing wrong about his celebration either.

    December 10, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  725. Kaitlyn

    what about freedom of religion?

    December 10, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  726. Jade

    If he has been doing it all year, then why flag him now? I would've kept on doing it. I mean all he did was point to the sky. He didn't flip on the bleachers and make a comotion out of it.

    December 11, 2010 at 9:40 am |
  727. Nathan

    I dont think it was nessicary to penilize him for the celebration the referee should have told him it was to much instead of give him a penalty. i think it was alright to do that even though he held the ball a little long it is alright if he is glad and thankful for his touchdown.

    December 12, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  728. ShaDiamond

    there was no reason for giving him a flag, he was thanking Jesus for the touchdown and helping his team be successful, there is nothing wrong with that. but it was the ref's call, and he thought it was disrespectful and thats how he called it. but i personally think that there should have been no penalization for thanking Jesus for a successful play/ touchdown.

    December 12, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  729. Sophie

    It's hard for people to be un biased because a fair amount of the population is Christian, but a highschool football field is public property funded by taxpayer's money, so it is not a private area. Constitutionally, it's not right to suggest one religion over the other on public grounds. Still, the highschooler was not specifying one god or religion by pointing at the sky, but I still think it's a good idea to continue this practice off field.

    December 12, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  730. Sophie

    Plus, freedom of religion suggests that you shouldn't suggest one religion over another on public grounds the way he did, it's freedom of religion to not have to be subject to witnessing someone else worship a god you might not believe in on public grounds, funded by tax payer's like yourself.

    December 12, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  731. Sophie

    Freedom of religion suggests that you shouldn't suggest one religion over another on public grounds the way he did, it's freedom of religion to not have to be subject to witnessing someone else worship a god you might not believe in on public grounds, funded by tax payer's like yourself.

    December 12, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  732. Amber

    I think that the ref was being unreasonable he shouldn't have called a penalty on the play.

    December 13, 2010 at 8:12 am |
  733. fernando

    dude, if the guy just wants to celebrate in scoring a touchdown, let him. I think that the referee was just in a bad mood that day, but hey, that's no reason to call a penalty.

    December 13, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  734. Darren

    I think it's a bad idea because it's not easy to get a touchdown when playing football and it mean a lot for player.

    December 13, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  735. Erik

    every player deserves to live in the moment of his/her touchdown.

    December 13, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  736. eduardo

    i wouldnt stop because if it was something bad they wouldve flagged me the first time. so why stop?

    December 13, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  737. meghan

    I mean does this guy have something against GOD or something. I mean its not a crime to have a little prayer after a good play. I mean yeah I would understand if he had done a little jig then yeah call him on it...Depending on what it was...If its a small little what now kind of dance thats fine but if its like a whole 2 min dance than thats another story. But this was to thank GOD on helping him get the touchdown. I mean really. I would like to talk to this ref and beat his butt cause I really dont think that call was right, and I fight for what I think is right.

    December 13, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  738. Pong

    I believe that if you give thanks to god for anything, not just a touchdown, people should respect to what you believe in and how you show it.

    December 13, 2010 at 1:42 pm |
  739. Liam

    That call was a really bad call, I mean come on ref he wasn't mouthing off to the other team or getting in fights. I play football to and after every touchdown or before opening kickoff i do the same thing he does.

    December 13, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
  740. Tanner

    The penalty was a bad idea because praying is not a bad thing. I also think he wasn't disrespectful to anyone else he was just respectinig god for giving him the chance and gift to be and be able to play football.

    December 13, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
  741. Marcy

    i think that he should be allowed to pray. He's done it after every other touch down he's gotten so far, why stop now? According to the first amendment we have the freedom of religion. He shouldn't have been flagged for showing thanks to God. Amen 🙂

    December 13, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  742. Alex

    I think he should be able to do that because our founding fathers said we have freedom of religion and he should be able to express his feelings, he wasn't bothering or hurting anybody by doing that

    December 13, 2010 at 9:00 pm |
  743. odir

    i think the ref didnt have the right to flag him because it could of been his religion and he was thanking GOD.

    December 14, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  744. jaden

    if he wants to praise god and the referee doesn't like his celebration to god thats a little messed up. he shouldn't be penalized, the worst should be a warning. but at least he came to resolution.

    December 14, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
  745. devin

    If he haas been praying why throw a flag now .............I would just give the ball up then pray

    December 14, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  746. Sydney

    I don't think this penalty was reasonable. I know the ref was just going with the rules in the book, but he has to loosen up a bit. It doesn't matter if the player prayed or not, he still got the touchdown fair and square.

    December 14, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
  747. kendyl

    i would keep doing it because he is not my mom or dad telling me to stop.

    December 14, 2010 at 8:59 pm |
  748. Emily

    there are no rules in football that say that you aren't allowed to pray on the field, but I would wait until I went to the sidelines because on the field, you could get hit with the football.

    December 14, 2010 at 9:00 pm |
  749. Emily

    I agree that the referee called a penalty because if you did a prayer, even just a little one, you could get hit with the football and get injured.

    December 14, 2010 at 9:03 pm |
  750. Emily

    i disagree because you are allowed to pray whenever you want, wherever you want, and that includes the football field

    December 14, 2010 at 9:05 pm |
  751. Jimmy

    I belive this is not right, we have freedom of religion so let him exert his oppinion

    December 15, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  752. Even

    I think that the referee shouldn't have made that foul because he was practicing his religion by thanking god for scoring another goal.

    December 15, 2010 at 11:58 am |
  753. rob

    I think that I was a symbol of thanks to get to the touchdown and not get tackled.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  754. Lindsey:)

    I think that the ref should of been alot more understanding! I mean he already made it into the box and got the TOUCHDOWN! Why take that away for him because he was thanking god! I think it’s ridiculous!

    December 15, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  755. Sara

    I believe the referee was out of line. If he was celebrating he would be jumping and hollering not kneeling. The kid was just sending his respects to Jesus.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  756. Zuriah

    I think that this is not fair, he did not deserve the penalty. He was only celebrating his victory. And plus if this is what he does, then he should not stop doing it.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  757. Ben

    I dont agree with the penalty, he was just thanking God, cnt believe they have problem with that.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  758. laurel

    I dont agree with this punishment at all because in the bill of right their is freedom of religion and he was just useing that right trying to call attention to jesus and not himself plus everybody has their own way of celebrationg a vitory.

    December 15, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  759. Devin

    I think it is unfair, it is like saying none of that on the field

    December 15, 2010 at 11:23 pm |
  760. Devin

    I think he should have gotten a penalty the last time he did it

    December 15, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
  761. Chris

    He should of left the stadium and droped the ball before he did thst because they might not have the same religon as him.

    December 16, 2010 at 6:37 am |
  762. Madilyn

    It's not illegal to be happy.

    December 16, 2010 at 8:18 am |
  763. Tess

    I am not religious but I'm all for freedom of speech. Though all people have a right to celebrate a good play, everyone gets penalties for getting too excited. I agree with the penalty because the "drawing attention to Jesus" thing was extensive and inapropriate. It might be just of form of demonstrating his faith but it may insult many people watching. Pray to God at home.

    December 16, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  764. victor

    they souidn't put that penolti on hem because he was thanking god for that gool.

    December 17, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
  765. Allison

    If pointing towards the sky to thank God is a penalty, then yes he should be punished, but he did absolutely NOTHING wrong. The referee wronged the player, so the player shouldn't be the one penalized.

    December 17, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
  766. Patrick

    i don't think he should be penalized because he was pointing up to god.

    December 17, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  767. Tristan

    I think you should be able to show your religon considering that you have just scored your team a touchdown!!!!!!

    December 17, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  768. parker

    that ref is dumb

    December 17, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
  769. Joyce

    I think that the penalty was too harsh. He was just thanking Jesus for the help he got. He's been doing that for a long time. It is just weird that he got a penalty NOW. It is his religion and he is showing he believes in God and Jesus. They should be thankful that people believe.

    December 18, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  770. Dylan

    Yes he probably was very religious and for that i respect that and im ok with it but i do agree with the ref yeah some people do it to thank the lord but some just use it as an excuse to celebrate

    December 18, 2010 at 10:53 pm |
  771. Nancy

    I think the refree should be penaltilized before the football player. He was just doing what he has been.

    December 20, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  772. Olivia

    That is WORST call ever!!! They're his beleifs, so let him pray to Jesus if he wants!

    December 21, 2010 at 4:54 pm |