Arkansas State Removes Cross Decal From Helmets
CBS Sports – Arkansas State will modify a cross decal on its helmet that after the school received a complaint.
The Red Wolves had been playing with a small white cross on the back of their helmets with the initials M.O. and B.W. on them. The initials honored Arkansas State player Markel Owens, who was murdered during a home invasion in January, and equipment manager Barry Weyer, who died in a car accident after the 2013 season.
The decision to use a cross was made by the coaches and players, but an attorney contacted the school and expressed concern about the school using a religious symbol on the helmets.
“I am 100 percent in support of our coaches’ and players’ expression of faith, as well as their choice to honor the two individuals associated with our team who passed away by voluntarily wearing a cross decal on the back of their helmets,” said Arkansas State athletic director Terry Mohajir in a release. “Unfortunately, we have received a complaint that use of the cross violates the Constitutional prohibition against separation of church and state.
“After consulting with University counsel, we have been advised to either modify the decal or remove it completely. Thus, in order to ensure that we are in full compliance with Constitutional law, we will be modifying the decal to still honor the two individuals who are no longer with us.”