Drink, Pray, Watch Basketball

Published: January 23, 2011

(edit- Once in a blue moon the prayer is done by a Rabbi. Not sure how I missed that over the years.)

Before each and every Hornets game for as long as the team has been in existence, a Christian invocation  is done at half court before the national anthem, in which everyone is asked to rise. George Shinn, a devout Christian, began having this done long ago in Charlotte and then brought the practice to New Orleans. For many years he remained the only NBA owner in the league to do such a thing. Now that he’s gone and the league controls the team, the question should be asked- Is the league owned team in clear support of one religion over any other?

From what I can tell, the NBA is not religiously affiliated in any way. I’m sure that like the US population, a majority of those working for and with the league are Christian, but it’s pretty clear that not everyone is. For example, David Stern is probably not a Christian. That’s just a little hunch I have.

I can’t help but think that if the religious prayers spoken before games were Muslim or Hindu that somebody would have said something about it already, but here we are dozens of games into the NBA’s first team ownership and they have yet to address this very unique aspect of the team’s home court experience. The point of this short post is just to point out that it’s still going on. There aren’t prayers to Allah, Ganesha, or Zeus. There is never an atheist that goes up and tells everyone to be good for goodness sake. It’s almost all Christian all the time, even though it’s pretty clear that the fans in New Orleans are so much more than that.

Let’s try to keep conversation civil and on point.


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