A 16 year-old high school football player caused outrage last week when he took a moment to thank God after scoring his first touchdown ever.
Sam Turner was dealt a 15 yard penalty after he dropped to one knee and placed his finger in the air as he gave thanks to God. The referee claimed that it was “unsportsmanlike comment” when he gave him the punishment.
“I said ‘thank you, God, for this talent you’ve blessed me with,’” Turner said, adding that he was also remembering a friend who was killed in a drive-by-shooting this past year.
Turner expressed shock when he saw the referee was flagging him with a penalty.
“I saw the flag and I was so confused at first. I was like, ‘Are you seriously flagging me right now? What did I do wrong?’” he said. “Eventually the ref came up and talked to me and said I was trying to bring attention to myself and I was trying to explain to him that that wasn’t the case at all. I wasn’t trying to bring attention to myself I was just trying to thank God.”
While the National Federation of State High School Associations’ rules does allow for players to be penalized for any act that draws attention to themselves, it seems a bit overboard to punish a player for praying.
Despite the penalty, Turner says his teammates have been supportive of his holy act.
“I use my faith as a platform for my talents. My teammates are giving my tons of support,” he said. “They all know I’m strong believer, even though it cost us 15 yards.”
What do you think about Turner’s penalty? Sound off in the comments below!
H/T: The Blaze