Letters to the Editor

Free speech: Prayer not the same as protest

Re: “Protect prayer as much as protests,” (TNT letter, 8/31).

The writer expressed disapproval of a judge’s decision to deny a Bremerton coach’s right to pray at midfield at the end of high school games. The writer then conflated this with disapproval of Michael Bennett’s sitting during the playing of the national anthem at Seahawks games.

My response is that the letter writer is wrong on both counts, and here’s why:

It is a coach’s job at the high school level to teach young players how to play football, how to increase their skill level at the position for which they are preparing, how to exercise for maximum power, how to eat for the proper fitness, and so on.

It is not in their purview to teach, counsel or proselytize their religion. A coach can pray; that is not in question. But this coach was doing it in public and attempting, it seems to me, to persuade his players to pray with him. That is proselytizing!

Meanwhile, Bennett, if you pay attention to what he has said, has sound reasons for his silent protest. He is doing what he is doing publicly, but not dragging anyone with him. It is for our awareness that black lives matter.