SPOKANE, WASHINGTON – Keep it civil. That’s the message from Gonzaga administrators and student groups who are asking Bulldog fans not to make fun of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints by dressing up as Mormon missionaries when BYU comes to play on Saturday.
Apart from BYU, if there are any students from any school that know what it’s like to be made fun of for their religion, it’s Gonzaga, a Jesuit school. Kennel Club President Claire Murphy says, “I know when we go on the road, there are people that dress up as the Pope.”
Murphy says it’s always bugged her when she’s seen Bulldog fans dress up as missionaries. She adds, “Gonzaga is about inclusivity and it’s not about targeting people on their identities or what they believe.”
Things are a little different for the Bulldogs this year. One of their players, Jesse Wade, is a member of the LDS church, who recently was a missionary. She says if the student body were to make fun of Mormons, they’d also be poking fun at one of their own players.
She sent out an email to the student body with her request, and so far, it’s been received well. “On my walk to class, right after it was sent, I had four people that stopped me and said, ‘Hey, thank you for your email,” Murphy says.
BYU Coach joked about his mission after hearing about this, saying “I never wore a bike helmet. So, maybe keep the bike helmets at home.”
(Photo Credit: Young Kwak, FR159675 AP. Fans in the Gonzaga student section pose for a photograph before an NCAA college basketball game against BYU in Spokane, Wash., Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017.)
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