Football coach Eddie Metcalf of Florida’s Wakulla Middle School is facing criticism from school officials for kneeling alongside his team during a pregame prayer, something the team has done ritualistically before every game.
A Facebook video of an October 7th football game posted by a parent, Keith Whitfield, took notice with the school district board. In the video, one of the players in a team huddle begins leading a prayer. Metcalf is seen kneeling beside his players, though it is unclear if he took part in the prayer. Regardless, the Wakulla County School Board is labeling the incident as an “act of reverence,” which is against the law.
Superintendent Robert Pearce released a statement on the matter to WCTW:
“That’s not allowable under the law. The coach may not participate in the prayer. What we want our coaches to do — and what most people have survived with in regards to meeting the letter of the law — is to have separation from the players, two to three steps. You are allowed to have reverent respect for their prayer.”
Despite Pearce’s statement, many on social media have argued that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem poses a hypocritical situation:
Colin Kaepernick kneels2support his misguided beliefs w/FULL SUPPORT of left & media. Coach Eddie Metcalf kneeld 2support his mid sch team➡?
— kay kingsbury (@kay_kingsbury) December 16, 2016
— AnnetteGreco Meisner (@Annette_Meisner) December 15, 2016
A video of the prayer in question and an interview with Metcalf following the incident can be watched below:
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