Letter To The Editor: Tigers’ Gripe Without Teeth

  • March 1, 2008

To: The Denver Post

Neil Devlin misses the point by a long shot when he cavalierly dismisses requests for religious accommodation in scheduling CHSAA regional and state basketball games. “It has been that way for decades” is not a good reason to rigidly refuse to consider reasonable adjustments in a tournament schedule to accommodate a team that otherwise cannot participate for religious reasons.

The Colorado High School Activities Association’s own mission statement calls for it to create a “positive and equitable environment in which all qualified students are challenged and inspired to meet their highest potential.” CHSAA goes a step further by ensuring that those students who celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday are not forced to choose between basketball and their religion by prohibiting CHSAA teams from playing games on Sunday. CHSAA should aim for inclusivity, and should actively explore reasonable accommodations that would allow “all qualified students” to “meet their highest potential.”

Reasonable accommodations in this case can be made by moving (at most) a handful of games to times before sunset on Friday or after sunset on Saturday. To do otherwise is to turn a blind eye to the students CHSAA is supposed to serve, and will force those students who celebrate the Sabbath on Friday and Saturday to choose between the obligations of their faith and the fulfillment of their athletic potential.

Bruce H. DeBoskey, Mountain States Regional Director, Anti-Defamation League, Denver