High school track team disqualified from state championships after runner celebrated with ‘thanks to God’ hand gesture 1

The Daily Mail

A small act of faith disqualified a Texas high school track team from advancing to the state championships.

Despite finishing first in a relay race at their school track meet last weekend in Columbus, Texas, the Columbus High School Mighty Cardinals were revoked of their win and disqualified from the next competition after the anchor runner touched his ear and pointed to the sky.

Runner Derrick Hayes made that gesture as he crossed the finish line in the 4 x 100-meter relay, local news channel KHOU 11 News reports.

Disqualified: A religious gesture made by Derrick Hayes, a runner for the Columbus High School Mighty Cardinals in Texas, disqualified his team from advancing to the state championshipsDisqualified: A religious gesture made by Derrick Hayes, a runner for the Columbus High School Mighty Cardinals in Texas, disqualified his team from advancing to the state championships

Runner Derrick Hayes, left, made the gesture as he crossed the finish line in the 4 x 100-meter relayRunner Derrick Hayes, left, made the gesture as he crossed the finish line in the 4 x 100-meter relay

Hayes’ father, KC, said that he believed his son was giving thanks to God.

‘You cross a finish line and you’ve accomplished a goal and within seconds it’s gone,’ KC Hayes told KHOU 11.

 

‘To see four kids, you know, what does that tell them about the rest of their lives? You’re going to do what’s right, work extra hard, and have it ripped away from you?’

Columbus ISD Superintendent Robert O’Connor said the team had won the race by seven yards and that it was their fastest race of the year, but according to state rules the decision cannot be appealed.

Similar gesture: Jamaica's Usain Bolt raises his hand to God after winning the men's 200m final at the athletics event during the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 9, 2012 in LondonSimilar gesture: Jamaica’s Usain Bolt raises his hand to God after winning the men’s 200m final at the athletics event during the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 9, 2012 in London

Now, some of the residents in Columbus are blaming the school of infringing on the runner’s freedom of religious expression.

State scholastic rules prohibit excessive celebrations, including raising one’s hands, according to runnersworld.com.

Those rules are the reason for the disqualification, the judges say.

'Giving thanks': Hayes' father, KC, said that he believed his son was giving thanks to God‘Giving thanks’: Hayes’ father, KC, said that he believed his son was giving thanks to God

 

Lost opportunity: Columbus ISD Superintendent Robert O'Connor said the team had won the race by seven yards and that it was their fastest race of the year, but that the decision cannot be appealedLost opportunity: Columbus ISD Superintendent Robert O’Connor said the team had won the race by seven yards and that it was their fastest race of the year, but that the decision cannot be appealed

One comment

  1. I think religion is crap but who cares about some sun worship? Define everything that isn’t allowed. The first olympics were in the nude we should go back to the basics to ensure fairness. If he starts preaching and won’t stop when we tell him to then we can strip him of the medal.

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