A high-school track team has been disqualified from competing in the Texas state finals after one of the members of a winning relay team pointed his finger toward the sky in a religious gesture. A judge at the track disqualified the team, Columbus High School’s 4 x 100 squad.
“The rule states no celebratory gestures including raising your arms,” the district’s superintendent told Houston’s KRIV. He explained that athletes are free to make such gestures “out of the competition area,” but that “the taunting rule” doesn’t allow it on the track.
Despite protests, the University Interscholastic League, the group that oversees Texas high-school athletics, says it will not change its decision.
“He just said, ‘Dad, I was pointing at the heavens,’” said the father of the runner who made the disqualifying gesture. “As a team, they reached their goal and, in an instant it was just gone, over something we think is a non-issue.”