The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is at it again.
In December of last year, the advocacy group, which opposes proselytizing in the military, filed an official complaint with the Air Force Academy regarding its football program. Specifically, the group took issue with members of the academy’s football team’s pregame tradition of kneeling in the end zone prior to and after games, holding hands and praying.
Fastforward nine months, and the same group has lodged yet another complaint to a service academy over the issue of prayer and football.
Following Army’s win over Temple, the program posted a video online of the locker-room celebration that included head coach Jeff Monken asking an assistant to “conduct a prayer that ended with Jesus,” the Associated Press reported. MRFF’s president told the AP he was “‘inundated’ with phone calls, texts and emails, including 44 from West Point graduates, 40 members of the academy faculty and staff, and six football players.” That “inundation” triggered a call to West Point’s superintendent, which subsequently triggered the video being edited to remove the prayer — but not an “amen.”
“In this case, Coach Monken chose the wrong time, the wrong place and the wrong manner,” Mikey Weinstein, MRFF head, told the AP. “He can’t tell anybody, put your hand on someone and let’s pray. You can’t do it, particularly when you’re the head coach (of a public school).”
It’s expected that Monken will issue a public apology over the incident as the coach’s boss, athletic director Boo Corrigan, is in the process of putting procedures in place to prevent another occurrence.