Several people have asked me: “if ASU was correct on the Constitution in the first place, why did they change their position and allow the crosses on the football players’ helmets?”
The University’s entire statement, for the first time, confirms it was ASU that organized, paid for, and put the crosses on the helmets – which was the greater constitutional violation.
ASU’s public statement says they will let players do the same thing voluntarily – in compliance with NCAA standards – which was what everyone thought was the case in the first place, and which the lawyers for the Liberty Institute (which threated to sue ASU) alleged.
My guess is that the lawyers for both sides also reached a non-public understanding … that if lawyers on the other side of the issue (like the Freedom From Religion Foundation or the ACLU) challenges this compromise … that the Liberty Institute will pay for all the associated legal costs and matters.
As I explained to kids on Constitution Day, you only have to answer for your actions when you are called out on it. ASU did the right thing; in the first place, and now.
Meanwhile, both the Constitution’s religious liberty (the government cannot pick a religion for us) – and the religious equality it protects (no one religion is superior to another under the law) – remain intact.
Now, many ASU fans don’t much care about the constitutional nuance … they are just happy that the football team can now voluntarily put the cross memorial stickers on their helmets.