West Point Football Coach Under Fire for Praying In Jesus’ Name In Locker Room

Jeff Monken (Twitter)
Jeff Monken (Twitter)

A West Point football coach is under fire for saying the name “Jesus” at the end of a postgame locker room prayer.

A video of coach Jeff Monken’s prayer at the U.S. military academy was posted online and sparked outrage. An anti-religion group called the Military Religious Freedom Foundation said the video violated the First Amendment right of some of the cadets.

“This was a clear violation of the First Amendment,” MRFF President Mikey Weinstein told the Washington Gadfly, adding that as a “state actor” the coach cannot endorse any specific religion.

“Leadership has confirmed to me he is going to apologize toward the team,” he said.

“As a result of this allegation, West Point officials are conducting an inquiry into the matter,” West Point spokesperson Lt. Col. Christopher Kasher said in a statement. “The video, which was posted on social media, was removed pending the inquiry.”

Weinstein says he was asked to demand a formal investigation into the incident, but he declined.

“We don’t think it is necessary,” he said. “We are not trying to rub anybody’s noses in it. Let’s move on and put it behind us.”