​God Gesture Disqualifies Team After Student Points Upward

God Gesture Disqualifies Team
By: | Follow Twitter:
May 7, 2013
Also: Columbus High School, Derrick Hayes, Disqualifies, God Gesture, God Gesture Disqualifies Team, Mighty Cardinals, Team

A God gesture, when an athlete points to the sky, disqualifies a team at a shot for a state championship. In fact, the Columbus High School Mighty Cardinals won the 4×100-meter relay by seven yards.

God Gesture Disqualifies Team

However, their hopes were ruined when Junior sprinter Derrick Hayes pointed to the sky. Hayes’s father, K.C., said that his son made a gesture of thanks to God, but raising a hand to the sky is considered excessive celebration according to the state scholastic rules. And with that, the team was disqualified.

“It was a reaction,” K.C. Hayes said. “You’re brought up your whole life that God gives you good things, you’re blessed.”

Many interviewed around town said that this was a violation of freedom of religion rights.

Columbus High School said that religious gestures are not banned, but they must be done off of the competition field or court.

“It’s a sad deal. I think it’s a travesty. Those kids work hard,” says father K.C. Hayes.

Hayes’ son Derrick had a once in a lifetime opportunity lost to heartbreak, K.C. said. “As a team they reached their goal and in an instant, it was just gone, over something we think is a non-issue. I guess someone else thinks it is an issue. He just said ‘dad I was pointing at the heavens,’” Hayes said.

A judge with the University Interscholastic League or UIL, whose name was not released, was there at the meet in Kingsville. The judge made the call to disqualify the four-member relay team, and state rules say the decision cannot be appealed.

According to the UIL, on paper the relay team was disqualified for “unsportsmanlike conduct.”