Threats of lawsuit lead to pre-game prayer ban at football games in Alabama

Stock photo of a football field

LEE COUNTY, AL  —  Controversy swirled in the public prior to a football game after players gathered for prayer before the game, according to a local news outlet.

The news outlet reports that a group called “Freedom From Religion Foundation” sent a letter of complaint to Lee County School Superintendent James Edwin Jr., after a parent reached out to the organization complaining about the prayer at Smiths Station’s season-opening game against visiting Opelika High School.

In the letter, the superintendent said “It is our understanding that on August 25, 2017, Smiths Station High School broadcasted a prayer over the loudspeaker prior to its first football game of the season. We understand that this prayer took place right after the national anthem.”

McCoy Jr., added “It is illegal for a public school to sponsor religious messages at school athletic events. The Supreme Court has continually struck down school-sponsored prayer in public schools.”

McCoy Jr., said the Supreme Court has specifically struck down invocations given over the loudspeaker at public school athletic events, even when student-led.