WEST FORSYTH, Ga. (CBS Atlanta) — A Georgia high school cross country runner was disqualified after placing third in the state championship for wearing a headband with a Bible verse on it.
The Forsyth County News reports West Forsyth’s John Green finished third out of 226 runners in the Class 5-A state championship race last Saturday that took place at Carrollton High School.
However, following the race, Georgia High School Association officials disqualified him for wearing a headband. The Forsyth County News was told “it was a uniform violation,” but West Forsyth coach Clayton Tillery said two officials cleared Green’s headband before the race. A third person, though, did make a comment about the headband at the starting line before the race.
The headband had “Isaiah 40:30-31” written on it. That verse reads, “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
“It is hard to understand how an unreadable, inside-out Bible verse is something harmful to our sport and worthy of a post-race disqualification of a student-athlete,” assistant coach Scott Griffith told Fox News.
Forsyth County News reports Green wore the same headband last year during the state championship but was not disqualified.
The high school association told Fox News Green’s disqualification was not due to the scripture verse on his headband.
“The fact that it was of a religious nature did not enter the decision whatsoever,” they told Fox News in a statement.
Green told the Forsyth County News he was upset.
Despite the outrage, the disqualification still stands.