Opinion | Pop Culture

The Goal in Mind

Should athletes openly express faith in action, or is it distracting?

The University of Minnesota apologized on behalf of its Goldy Gopher mascot for making fun of a prayerful opposing player last weekend.

A YouTube video shows the Penn State defensive end Jerome Hayes kneeling in prayer and the mascot taking a knee in front of him. "We have reiterated to Goldy the importance of exercising appropriate religious sensitivity in the future," he said in a statement. Penn State won 20-0. (h/t Eric Gorski)

Other accounts of faith and sports have appeared in several outlets recently, including USA Today's recent coverage of Messiah College's stellar athletic program. With less than 3,000 students, the Christian school in Pennsylvania has an undefeated Division III women's soccer team that is ranked No. 1 and a No. 3 ranked men's soccer team). Last season, both soccer teams and the softball team won NCAA titles, not to mention past national championships.

[The women's team sings] more Christian songs in raucous harmony, laughing, singing and bonding all at once. The ...
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