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Minnesota officials issue apology for mascot's mockery of prayer

Many athletes have specific rituals before games. These habits are generally a time of focus or prioritization. During last Saturday’s Big Ten matchup between Penn State and Minnesota, several Penn State players trotted to the end zone, knelt on one knee, bowed, and prayed before the start of the game.

The Minnesota Mascot, Goldy Gopher, welcomed the players to his corner by pinching his nose in disgust and then imitating one player, Jerome Hayes, getting down on one knee right in front of him. After the prayer, Goldy attempted to make contact with Hayes, but the Penn State defensive end from Bayonne, N.J. ignored the mascot’s mockery. The Gopher then found an amused cheerleader and gave her a high five.

This incident may have gone fairly unnoticed, but not in the age of cyber communication - it was caught on tape and posted on YouTube. The University of Minnesota issued an official apology yesterday after the video’s 70,000 plus views prompted some national attention.

A spokesman for Minnesota , Dan Wolter, says the stunt was "plainly a mistake" and the mascot didn't intend to offend anyone or trivialize religion.

Watch the video and tell examiner what you think. Comment

Minnesota mascot mocks praying Penn State player.


  • Cindy 5 years ago

    The cheerleader should apologize as well!

  • Joe 5 years ago

    I consider myself to be a huge Penn State fan. Was I offended by this? Absolutely not. I didn't think it was necessary to issue an apology. I don't think I would have even interpretted this as a mockery. Maybe the mascots intention was to pray with the player, and slap hands with him afterward, as a way of saying "hey, be safe out there and no hard feelings."

  • Siobhain 5 years ago

    The Mascot was obviously mocking him - if only we had more athletes with his courage to openly profess his faith and trust in God.

  • Bud 5 years ago

    As an Alum and a fan of U of M Football, Hockey, & the UofM itself. I am so disgusted with this I have pulled my support from the teams and the U. Is everthing up for mockery today? Is there no clear line of right and wrong? Christianity is attacked so often because Christians do not react and that those who are Christians are deemed weak by those withous focus, discipline, commitment, control, and faith. There is righteous anger, Christ was mocked, beaten tortured and crucified but yet He remained forgiving and loving. I try daily to be like He who lives in me, but I live in this world and I am just a man trying to live this out. This I know, I would attempt to be restrained in this circumstance, but I may not have been and that would have done unbelieveable damage to God's mandate to go out and spread the message of God's love. I would have failed. Jerome Hayes, you are my brother in Christ, and a shining epistle, thank-you. Goldy, you on the other hand, are an embarassment.