December 2nd, 2010
10:28 AM ET

Penalized for thanking God?

Editor's Note: CNN Affiliate KOMO brings us this story.

Tumwater beat East Valley 63-27 on Monday night at the Tacoma Dome during the 2A state semifinal game, but a post-touchdown penalty call was a big surprise for the player responsible.

In the second quarter of the game, Tumwater running back Ronnie Hastie scored on a 23-yard run, took a knee in the end zone and briefly pointed to the heavens above.

For that the referee threw a flag, saying it was unsportsmanlike conduct.

Hastie said he's pointed up as a gesture to God after every touchdown he's scored in every game and never had a problem before.

"It's usually one or two seconds long," he said. "It's something I've done as a tradition."

Hastie said he asked the ref why he was penalized, and the ref responded that Hastie wasn't supposed to draw attention to himself.

"That wasn't the point (of the gesture), so I guess I was a little confused," Hastie said. "I do that to give glory to my heavenly father, Jesus. He gives me the strength. He's the one who gives me these abilities in the first place."

Read the full story from CNN Affiliate KOMO.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Religious liberty • Sports

soundoff (169 Responses)
  1. LeopardNation

    Its getting worse Louisville High School players were penalized for pointing to the sky and it cost them the game check it out here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=H8i2wRj_kxk

    August 28, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
  2. Wilma

    First of all "Dirty Dirty" let me say that you make me laugh too, sweetheart. I laugh because I've seen so many like you before and they always end up saying "please stop praying for me because I can't take it anymore" or "you know I hate to say it but you were right and thank you for praying me through". See I am a very stubborn person and when I see someone as blind as you it just makes me even more determined to reach out and grab you. I never said that you faced hypocrites in your church. Go back and read that post again, Pooh. And I never said that GOD would tell the name of your seventh grade teacher but trust He knows their name. Honestly, it doesn't really matter what kind of details He gives me about you because yuro pride will always try and reason them away. See Jesus taught us a long time ago not to tempt GOD the first time satan asked for ridiculous requests. Who am I to try GOD's patience or His knowledge? If He was to tell me and I was to tell you, would that really make you believe? No. He's told you things before that only He could know and you still choose not to believe. So why would something so simple as who was your teacher cause you to believe? You know of all the people that I could have chose to write to on this link He chose you for me. I know that everything He does is for a reason and there is a reason for me to be so interested in your salvation. So as long as your willing to keep up the wall you've built around yourself, I'm willing to keep beating until I break through. Whether you know it or no,t my friend, you're something special. So when you sleep tonight let your thoughts be toward me, my dear, and how you've found a friend in the least likely of places. Your my new bestfriend you just don't know it yet. I look forward to conversing with you further so please feel free to write back. I look forward to your questions and your humor. I love a challenge and you are only going to help build my faith. You have a blessed day, sweetness.

    December 9, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
    • dirty sancheez

      Ahh the Cop-out, I knew it was coming. The sure sign of a Fake is to skirt the test.
      In my last post I was talking about how you seem to think that you know my situation. You don't. You alluded to the idea that God/HG tells you about me. Well put up or shut up let's see your evidence.
      Another thing, I couldn't care less about your friendship or your love. Pray your empty head off.
      The wall is up idiot, beat your head against it.

      December 9, 2010 at 11:33 pm |
    • Wilma

      Mmmm. Such vulgar language. Why do you hate me so much, Luv? Once again let me say that I know as much as He allows me to know. I'm not a psychic. You have so much arrogance and ignorance in your heart. Why do you test GOD the way you do? Once again if I was to tell you such trivial things would it make you believe? Are you so miserable that you have to be so angry all the time? First let me say that if you don't believe in God then why do you try so hard to disprove Him. You chose to be on a site that is dedicated to religion. Why would you not aviod religion or religious conversations at all cost if you really thought that you were your own maker? Why would you bother with such ridiculous conversation. What do you think compels you to talk against God? I see that satan has your reins held really tight. A person that really did not believe in God or satan would not be as passionate about discrediting God as you so apparently are. Your beginning to make me wonder if you really do know satan a little better than I originally thought you did. You say that you are happier now then you have ever been in your life, but yet you are so mean. I've met devoted devil worshippers that are nicer than you. I know that we won't win every soul, but what kind of Christian would I be if I gave up on you so easily. And if you think that your hurtful comments are going to make me lash out at you, your sorely mistaken, my friend. I've had people say things to me that your brain could never even phathom. See unlike your master, my Master teaches me to love my enemies not hate them. The more you fight the more I love you. P.S. I love the way you used a big word, "alluded". You make me so proud. And I never tried to "elude" anything. If you can't comprehend simple english then I'm sorry, but I told you that He gives me the knowledge that He chooses to give me not what I choose to know. And the question about your seventh grade teacher is either a trick question because you had more than one or you really are more "special" than I thought you were. Lol. See Christians can have a sense of humor too, Boo.

      December 10, 2010 at 12:18 am |
    • dirty sancheez

      You continue to cop-out. I had only one Math teacher in the seventh grade and hinting I am a retard really helps your testimony(lashing out?).
      Well Wilma without any verifiable evidence I have to conclude that your testimony is a load of crap.
      Maybe you can take something away from this conversation. Two things that puts my wall up faster than anything:
      #1. Someone who has never met me and thinks they know me.
      #2. Someone who patronizes me and calls me brother or beloved when I tell them to not too.
      These are the things I hate about you.
      #1 has been my point all along. I have been told Ad Nauseum by religious people why I don't believe in God.They come in telling me why without asking me why. Only I know the reasons.

      Believe it or not I don't hate you, I am indifferent though.

      All of your rambling has just convinced me more that Christianity has nothing to offer me. Thanks for helping me remember one of the reasons why I am no longer a Christian.
      By the way,It's "You're(or you are) a puppet on a string" not "Your a puppet on a string" see your post on DEC 8 10:00 am.

      December 10, 2010 at 1:30 am |
  3. Randy

    Based on what the league said, the excessive celebration was based on the fact that he did not give up the football immediately after the touchdown. Apparently that is a rule they enforce. If that's their rule and they enforce it across the board, I do not have a problem with this. If he did not have the football while kneeling and pointing to the sky and they still penalized him, I would have more of a problem with it. I don't think this can fairly or accurately be described as a player being penalized for thanking God. I think it's a dumb rule to have, but it's their right to make and enforce their own rules.

    December 7, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  4. Veronica

    You know what REALLY draws attention to yourself? Scoring a touchdown. He should be penalized for scoring. I mean practically everyone in the whole place was watching him when he did it.

    December 7, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  5. Poodz

    Lol these things really heat up eh? Our opinions don't matter. Just text on a page that will be forgotten. Do something to be remembered. Go outside.

    December 7, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  6. Mike Schumer

    OK I'm not going to bother reading these comments because I dislike religious nuts. However I think the ref made a bad call here. He should not have thrown a flag. The rule should probably be discussed behind the scenes in the league. As the player said, get rid of the ball and then do your thanks. Getting back to religion though, the kid is thanking god for the touchdown. Why was god so nice to him and no one else on the other team. Give me a break.

    December 5, 2010 at 8:28 am |
1 2 3
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.