Alabama’s governor is demanding answers after a high school basketball team say they were forced to choose between their faith or a game.
Oakwood Adventist Academy is a Seventh-Day Adventist school in Huntsville, located 100 miles north of Birmingham. Their men’s basketball team had advanced to the semifinals of the state tournament last week, the school’s Athletic Director, Calvin Morton, told CNN Wednesday.
But the regional semifinal game was set for Saturday, February 19 at 4:30 p.m., and would interfere with Sabbath, which is observed from sundown Friday to sundown on Saturday.
Morton said he emailed the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) to ask if they could play at 7:30 p.m. instead, after sunset, to meet their religious beliefs.
That request was denied.
“We weren’t asking for a change of stadium or venue or a change of a different day,” Morton told CNN. “It was a simple two-to-three hour game change … which we thought was a reasonable ask.”
The other teams participating in the tournament were willing to accommodate and swap game times, Morton said. When he relayed that message to AHSAA in a follow up, they still denied the change.
AHSAA told CNN they have no comment at this time.
Morton said they had a team meeting and everyone was on the same page: They would forfeit. “We were taken aback and upset that they weren’t going to play,” Morton said.
Now, Governor Kay Ivey is stepping in and demanding answers from the association.
Story continues at: God n Basketball