Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Arkansas State defends removal of cross decals from football helmets; but players may choose to have them

Posted By on Wed, Sep 17, 2014 at 7:16 PM

Austin Kellerman of KARK has posted here a letter from Arkansas State President Charles Welch to a conservative Christian legal organization defending removal of cross decals from ASU football helmets.

The decals were removed on advice of university counsel after questions were raised. The Liberty Institute, which uses the courts to push religion into public life, claimed ASU had violated private religious rights.

Welch said the Institute had misstated the facts. He said the crosses were not student speech but government speech because the head coach designed the memorial to a former player and manager. He added they were intended to be purchased with public funds and were affixed, not by individual players, but by team managers.

Welch said it was his understanding that the Institute had discussed the issue with Lucinda McDaniel, the ASU counsel, and this explanation would resolve the matter. The Institute had issued a "demand letter" about restoring the crosses.

UPDATE: What the letter didn't say, according to a news release from the Liberty Institute, is that players now will be allowed to restore the cross decals if they choose.

"This is a great victory for the players of Arkansas State University!

"According to the letter we received from the University and communications from the Arkansas Attorney General Office, the players will be allowed to place the original cross sticker design on their helmets in the original location if they so choose.

"The University officials and the Arkansas Attorney General did the right thing restoring the religious liberty and free speech rights of the players to have the original cross sticker design if they so choose and we commend them for doing so.


Not that any is likely to do so in the climate that prevails in Arkansas, but can players now place symbols of other religions on their helmets? And never mind religion, if 1st Amendment protection of helmets is covered here, can a player put a pro-gun, anti-abortion, pro-marriage equality, pro-tax or whatever emblem on his helmet? And, if not, why not?

The original mistake, of course, remains the decision to brand all ASU helmets with crosses.




Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (32)

Showing 1-32 of 32

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-32 of 32

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Executionpalooza

    Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
    • Apr 20, 2017
  • Death Row inmates argue to keep stay of execution in place; urge 8th Circuit not to 'rush' analysis

    Early this morning, attorneys for nine Death Row inmates, filed an argument with the 8th United States Court of Appeals contesting the state's effort to override Judge Kristine Baker's order Saturday that halted executions scheduled this month.
    • Apr 17, 2017
  • Federal judge denies execution stay for Don Davis but larger stay continues

    Don Davis, who's been moved to the killing facility of the state prison for killing tonight at 7 p.m. if a stay of execution is lifted in another federal suit, sought a stay in another federal court Sunday, but the request was denied.
    • Apr 17, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • Judge Griffen writes about morality, Christian values and executions

    Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who blogs at Justice is a verb!, sends along a new post this morning.
  • The Ledell Lee execution thread

    Arkansas Times contributor Jacob Rosenberg is at the Cummins Unit in Grady filing dispatches tonight in advance of the expected execution of Ledell Lee, who was sentenced to death for the Feb. 9, 1993, murder of Debra Reese, 26, who was beaten to death in the bedroom of her home in Jacksonville.
  • Former state board of education chair Sam Ledbetter weighs in on Little Rock millage vote

    Ledbetter, the former state Board of Education chair who cast the decisive vote in 2015 to take over the LRSD, writes that Education Commissioner Johnny Key "has shown time and again that he is out of touch with our community and the needs of the district." However, Ledbetter supports the May 9 vote as a positive for the district's students and staff.

Visit Arkansas

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Most Viewed

  • Family of girl who fell from Harrison church bus issues statement, says investigation ongoing

    The family of a 4-year-old girl from Harrison who fell from a moving church bus on April 19 issued a statement through their attorney yesterday, asking for privacy as the investigation into the incident continues. The family said the girl is still receiving medical care related to the incident — caught on a paramedic's dashboard camera — in which she opened the back door of a moving church bus and was flung to the pavement, with the bus driving away.
  • Group hopes to move giant telescope to Northwest Arkansas

    A non-profit group devoted to science education has announced their plan to move one of the largest refracting telescopes in the America to Northwest Arkansas. They are currently fundraising to cover the moving costs for the vintage telescope, which they hope to make the centerpiece of a science and technology center.
  • Tuesday line

    Here you go.
  • The Jack Jones, Marcel Williams execution thread

    The Arkansas Department of Correction is planning for the first double execution in the U.S. in 16 years tonight. Jack Jones, 52,  and Marcell Williams, 46, are scheduled to die by lethal injection. They would be the second and third prisoners put to death as part of a hurried schedule Governor Hutchinson set in advance of the state's supply of one of the three drugs used in the execution protocol expiring on April 30.
  • San Francisco judge blocks executive order defunding "sanctuary cities"

    A U.S. District Court Judge in San Francisco has issued a preliminary injunction that blocks major parts of a presidential executive order that would cut federal grants to cities that refuse to assist federal immigration officials in apprehending undocumented immigrants.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation