High school football player penalized for taking a knee in prayer like Tim Tebow

By Morgan Chalfant | November 3, 2014 | Comments

Image via Getty Images

Image via Getty Images

A high school football player just got penalized for “tebowing.”

Sam Turner, a 16-year-old senior at Fort Myers High School in Florida, received a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct after taking a knee in prayer in the end zone during a game, reports The News-Press.


Turner was merely celebrating catching his first high school career touchdown in much the same way former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow did during his college and professional football career.

“There’s been tons of support from my family and friends,” Turner said of the incident. “They are proud of me that I stood firm in my faith.”

“It’s very cool to see how everyone is taking it,” continued the high school senior. “I use my faith as a platform for my talents. My teammates are giving my tons of support. They all know I’m strong believer, even though it cost us 15 yards.”

Turner’s coach didn’t seem to want to take sides on the matter, though he certainly didn’t fault the player for his action.

“It comes down to a ref’s discretion,” explained Coach Sam Sirianni Jr. “To them, they try to follow the letter of the rules. You accept both sides. I have seen it happen at all levels. The officials have to toe the line.”

The coach also added that he didn’t “begrudge” the official.

“We talked to Sam,” he continued. “What he did wasn’t selfish. He didn’t understand it at first. He said it shouldn’t have been a penalty. He would never do anything disrespectful or do anything that would hurt the team. You don’t punish or get mad at a kid for his intent.”

Despite Turner’s penalty, his team won handedly 49-0.

Tim Tebow popularized the mid-game prayer when he played for the University of Florida and later for the Denver Broncos and New York Jets. Many even began to call it “tebowing.”

Undoubtedly, Tebow would take issue with the penalty handed to Turner.

It’s not only during high school football games that players are receiving penalties for prayer. In September, a Kansas City Chiefs player was slapped with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for bowing in prayer after a touchdown. However, the NFL denounced the penalty after the game.

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2 Responses to “High school football player penalized for taking a knee in prayer like Tim Tebow”

  1. Pamelot says:

    How is that unsportsmanlike?

  2. andrea says:

    The reason that the NFL denounced the penalty was because it was a muslim prayer.

    The young high school kid has not learned that a Christian prayer is unacceptable to the mainstream media and the NFL.

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