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Colts May Be Discriminating Against Atheists in Hiring Practices


Faith plays a large role in human life. From not knowing where we came from to not knowing exactly what happens after we die, people rely on religion and faith to help guide them through life.

But not all of us believe in an afterlife or a higher being. Some of us believe this is it, the life you get it the only one you have and what happens when you die is both irrelevant and not a big deal. Being an American means being able to believe whatever you want to believe — or not believe. However if you’re trying to get a job with the Indianapolis Colts, you might want to leave your lack of faith off your resume, as it could be the difference between you getting a job and not getting one.

Colts G.M. Ryan Grigson spoke recently about what he looks for in a potential employee for the Indianapolis Colts and he outlined a very specific, albeit cliched, list of pre-requisites. According to interim head coach Bruce Arians, Grigson is very specific when it comes to what he looks for in players, and it goes beyond God-given skills.

“A high quality person who has passion for football and cares about faith, family and football.” Arians said of Grigson’s requirements in a player.

But as Mike Florio, a noted Christian, of ProFootballTalk points out, why is faith a relevant job requirement. Does this mean if a head coaching candidate or a star running back comes through and they don’t believe in God — or your God– that they’re some unqualified for the gig?

Having faith is one thing. Having faith be a determining factor when making a hire, no matter if it’s cashier, a running back or the president, is just wrong. That’s like saying the color of your skin still matters, or how long your hair is.

Clay Matthews, eat your heart out because those lovely lady locks are going to keep you out of work.

Florio may have been reading into the quote  bit much, as every athlete thanks God before their mothers — you know the person that actually went through pain to bring you here. But as the times are changing and the world we live in is starting to become a more accepting place, the question Florio raises is a relevant one.

It’s not wrong to have strong faith in whatever you believe in. I’m like George Carlin, I pray to the sun and Joe Pecsi because the odds of getting my prayers answered are still 50/50 but I can see my Gods. But seeing and believing have historically been two different things, and that’s fine. Just don’t bring it into the work place where discrimination can occur.

The NFL is on the lookout for this kind of potential discrimination, stating in the latest CBA that it’s against league policy to not hire someone based on sexual orintation, race or religion.

Section 1. No Discrimination: There will be no discrimination in any form against any player by the Management Council, any Club or by the NFLPA because of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or activity or lack of activity on behalf of the NFLPA.

-NFL CBA, Article 49, Section 1

The NFL is adaptable, it has to be, it’s a business above anything else. But are the people within the sport as loose with the morals, so to speak. Already we’ve had clashing over the idea of two people of the same sex getting it on, with Chris Kluwe of the Minnesota Vikings going as far as posing in a gay magazine to show it’s not a big deal to be straight and supports gays. At the same time, Matt Birk of the Baltimore Ravens has clashed with what his teammates think and has come out against gay marriage for the sake of his children.

It always comes back to the children.

But that right there is a hot button issue that proves the NFL is divided from within on major world topics. It’s only a matter of time before we have a gay athlete who actually comes out while still playing. It’s also a matter of time before an atheist comes out as well. If you honestly believe everyone man in the NFL is a God fearing womanizer, think again.

The only question now is, does coming out as gay or atheist mean jobs will disappear? In the same breath as the misconception that every man in the NFL is a man of faith, the Colts aren’t the only team who value a player’s love of God over his ability on the field.

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Tags: Indianapolis Colts NFL

  • Guest

    The Bible and pigskin have a long history together.

  • zsnyder84

    Clay Matthews would have to cut his hair to play for the Yankees. They have an appearance standard that prohibits long hair or unkempt facial hair.