SCC pastors voice support for ETSU basketball team

Published 11:03 am Friday, April 2, 2021

To the Editor:
After Jason Shay resigned from his role as ETSU Men’s Basketball coach Tuesday after open criticism from select State Legislators who condemned the kneeling of players at games, pastors from Southern Christian Coalition released this statement.
“As a Christian and a pastor I believe the Bible calls us to stand up for equality and justice as Micah 6:8 that calls us to ‘do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.’ So, it is upsetting to see members of the State Legislatures deride the ETSU men’s basketball players when they chose to express their constitutional and American right to kneel in support of those fighting for racial justice across the country,” said Rev. Aaron Marble, Pastor of Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church in Nashville. “I was disappointed to learn yesterday of the resignation of Jason Shay as coach and am concerned at the State Legislature’s aggressive and inappropriate overreach. As public servants they should be kneeling with these basketball players, and using their power and service to bring about justice, instead of attempting to infringe on the players’ first amendment rights.”
“As Christians, we should all care about justice and equality, and kneeling respectfully during an athletic event is not only appropriate, but it is taking a moral and ethical stand,” said Rev. Dr. Kevin Riggs, Pastor of Franklin Community Church. “The men of the ETSU basketball team are now a part of the longstanding tradition and courage of athletes speaking out in support of equality and racial justice. It’s clear that Senators Jon Lundberg and Rusty Crowe do not have a clear understanding of the first amendment, nor the Biblical calls for justice, and it is a shame that the repercussions affect so many personally at ETSU.”

Elizabeth Madeira
Southern Christian Coalition

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