Get a load of this story from the Dr. Saturday college football blog: Arkansas State removes cross decals from helmets after complaint:
Arkansas State has removed decals of crosses from the back of its football helmets after a complaint.
The sticker was honoring DL Markel Owens and equipment manager Barry Weyer Jr. Owens and stepfather Johnny Shivers were shot in an attempted robbery in January. Weyer was killed in a car accident with three others in June. The initials of Owens and Weyer were on each side of the sticker.
Since Arkansas State is a public university, you can see how this was a problem. [Emphasis angrily mine – j] On Wednesday, Arkansas State athletic director Terry Mohajir released a statement that said the school would be removing the crosses from the helmets after it received a complaint from an attorney.
“… you can see how this was a problem.” Of course. Of course you can.
Let’s go back in time, say, thirty years. Not that long ago. If you walked up to a random American and read this story, concluding with the sentence, “Since Arkansas State is a public university, you can see how this was a problem,” I can’t help but think that the response would be, “Uh, no, I don’t see how it was a problem. Can you explain it to me?”
But now that sentence makes perfect sense. We all understand how it’s a problem, and we all understand how the university had to cave in the face of an angry lawyer letter, because we’re all more aware of what the First Amendment says: “No one should ever have to see or hear anything that has to do with Jesus anywhere, for any reason, ever, ever, ever.”
Thank goodness we’re all so much smarter now.