Deion Sanders has made it clear over the years that he’s a man of faith. That was never a problem for Coach Prime at Jackson State University, but it doesn’t appear it will fly as easily in the Rocky Mountains.
Freedom From Religion Foundation wrote a letter to University of Colorado Boulder Chancellor Phil DiStefano with concerns about him leading a Christian prayer, thereby “engaging in religious exercises with players and staff members.”
The letters referred to two incidents since Deion Sanders took over at Colorado as “inappropriate and unconstitutional actions.”
“It is our understanding that on Dec. 20, a staff member led other staff members in a Christian prayer to start an official meeting,” FFRF’s letter read in part. “More egregiously, on Jan. 16, Coach Sanders directed a staff member to lead players and coaches in Christian prayer before a team meeting.”
“Lord, we thank You for this day, Father, for this opportunity as a group. Father, we thank You for the movement that God has put us in place to be in charge of. We thank You for each player here, each coach, each family. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.”
The purposes of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc., as stated in its bylaws, are to promote the constitutional principle of separation of state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism.
The University of Colorado responded to the letter on February 1, indicating that Sanders received training and guidance on boundaries of religious expression. Sanders was “very receptive to this training and came away from it with a better understanding of the University of Colorado’s policies,” according to the letter.
Deion Sanders has been a professed and devout Christian for much his time in the public eye. Indeed, the Pro Football Hall of Famer routinely and freely spoke of his faith during his two years at Jackson State. From the moment he announced he had accepted the job, he stated that he was sent there by God, stating that it was a calling. One that he accepted collect.
When Sanders announced that he was moving to Colorado, he stated that God called him to coach there as well. It appears that Coach Prime may have to be more selective with his implementation of religion in the Pac-12.