A Louisiana high school was forced to breach a signed sponsorship agreement because the end zone sponsor included both the word “Christ” in their name and a verse of Biblical scripture.
As reported by Louisiana ABC affiliate KTBS, Benton (La.) High School sold a sponsorship for its end zones to a local company called Christ Fit Gym, a “Christian fitness center,” in Boosier City, La. With that came the right to paint their own chosen logo in the end zone.
In the case of Christ Fit Gym, that logo included a large cross, the name of the gym (which obviously includes Christ) and a biblical reference to the verse 1 Timothy 4:3.
Yet no sooner than the end zone designs were complete than the Boosier Parish School District faced a legal challenge from an organization called Americans United for Separation of Church and State. That inspired the Boosier Parish district to instruct students to paint back over the logo so the school would not face any additional legal recourse.
Yet those students refused to acquiesce to that demand, which meant that the Benton football team played Friday’s game with the end zones as designed.
You can see the logo as originally painted above, and after it was covered below.
That justification for painting over the logos wasn’t sufficient for the owner of the gym, Billy Weatherall, who told the Todd Starnes Radio Show he is refusing to accept that his sponsorship deal will simply not be upheld; he told Starnes that he spent $3,500 for the right to paint his logo in the stadium end zones for the 2018 season.
“We have a signed contract,” he told the Todd Starnes Radio Show. “I got a phone call from a school official Friday morning while I was having my quiet time and drinking coffee. He said they were instructed to paint over the cross and he was devastated about it.
“This is something I believe in. This is what my faith is all about. This is something I cannot and will not compromise on.”