Nearly three years ago, after Georgia’s Heritage High School football team finished up practice, they took part in a mass baptism. The team chaplain (yes really), a minister, and Head Coach E.K. Slaughter all watched nearly a dozen young men accept Christ into their lives.
Around the 3:53 mark of that video, you can see Slaughter telling those kids, “This is about you, this is about your relationship with Christ, and nothing else, ‘K?… It’s a big step for you.” After the boys were baptized, he offered another brief sermon about how the boys needed to “walk towards Him” and choose to love the Lord every day.
This was undoubtedly illegal, no matter how good anyone’s intentions were. It wasn’t student-led. Staffers paid by the District were encouraging students to join their religion. If we were talking about any religion besides Christianity, that would be obvious to anyone.
Anyway… all of this is especially interesting given why Coach Slaughter is back in the news.
He was suspended from coaching for a week because he apparently shoved one of his own players by the helmet to push him back onto the field.
The abuse crossed the line. It’s especially egregious at the high school level. You don’t hit/touch/aggressively-push kids no matter how frustrated you are. Obviously. Some commenters online are dismissing the whole incident as an overreaction from “snowflake” kids, but this isn’t about how hard the coach pushed the kid, or where he did it. It’s about the level of respect a coach owes his students.
Any coach that thinks pushing a kid in the head is the right way to deal with him is a shitty person. He shouldn’t be working at a high school, at the very least. But Slaughter will get to keep his job.
Principal Ronnie Bradford said, “We expect every member of the Heritage High School staff to adhere to the highest professional standards in all of their interactions with our students. Coach Slaughter quickly realized that his actions were wrong and apologized to the player involved and his family. We addressed his actions, and he will be suspended from football for one week.”
They’re addressing his actions by doing the very least. It’s a mild punishment at best. It’s also laughable to hear the principal say they expect staff to “adhere to the highest professional standards” when this is the same coach who pressured kids to adopt his religious delusions.
He wasn’t professional then. He’s not professional now. Bradford is just making excuses for Slaughter’s behavior.
I doubt anything will come of it, but it’s one hell of a twist that the coach who just wanted everyone to accept Jesus has been suspended for effectively abusing one of his players.
That’s conservative Christianity in a nutshell, isn’t it? Do as they say, not as they do.
(Thanks to Glen for the link)