Track Team Disqualified After Making Religious Gesture In Victory

The Columbus High School 4×100 relay team won their state finals, but immediately following the race, one of the boys simply pointed to the heavens, recognizing the source of the abilities the team had in winning and in that moment they were stripped of their victory. Yes friends, that is in America and that is what egalitarianism will get you. We saw it during the Olympics and we’re seeing at high school athletics.

Derrick Hayes simply pointed towards God and in doing so it cost him and his team their victory.

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

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A judge with the University Interscholastic League (UIL) made the call to disqualify the relay team.

“For those kids the work they put in, what are we teaching them? Ok you’re going to sacrifice, work hard and do everything it takes and ok it’s just ripped away,” says Hayes.

Columbus I.S.D. Superintendent Robert O’Connor said, “It’s a harsh consequence for what some people may deem a small gesture. The rule states no celebratory gestures including raising your arms.”

While the UIL doesn’t have a rule prohibiting religious expression, the team was disqualified for “unsporting conduct.”

“You can do whatever you want to in terms of prayer, kneeling or whatever you want to once you get out of the competition area. You just can’t do it in the competition area. It goes back to the taunting rule. I can’t taunt my opponent,” O’Connor explains.

But K.C. Hayes says otherwise. “It’s not a malicious act. It’s not a taunting act. It’s a ‘we did it’ and he (my son) knows where the source comes from. I know him. He’s not a malicious kid. On the football field he’ll hit you and then help you up.”

Superintendent O’Connor says he has received a number of emails. One read ‘Dear sir, you, are an idiot’. The decision comes from the UIL, not O’Connor, and they are standing their ground, not willing to change their decision.

Victors aren’t permitted to thank God or celebrate in any fashion. They must conduct themselves in the same manner those who lose do. We’re not talking about taunting one’s opponents but merely celebrating a victory.

I ran the 440 relay as well as other events when I competed in track and there wasn’t any of this nonsense. If you won, you celebrated.

As long as parents and student continue to put up with egalitarians like the UIL and truly idiotic rules like this, they will continue to press them.

Perhaps you want to make your voice known to the UIL. Here’s your chance. Their contact information is listed below:

Mailing Address

University Interscholastic League
P.O. Box 8028
Austin, Texas 78713

Street Address

1701 Manor Road
Austin, Texas 78722


Phone: 512-471-5883
Phone for theatre only: 512-471-9996


Administration Fax: 512-471-5908
Athletics Fax: 512-471-6589

Policy and Administration

Executive Director: Dr. Charles Breithaupt
Department email: [email protected]
Department fax: 512-471-5908

Deputy Director: Jamey Harrison
Email: [email protected]

Chief of Staff: Kim Carmichael
Email: [email protected]

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