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Members of an Ohio high school basketball team accused a nonprofit of effectively silencing their customary prayer before games.

Nicholas Pidgeon and Nick Everett of the West Branch School District, and Pidgeon's father, Brooke, said the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) demanded that the district stop praying before games.

FFRF called the prayers "inappropriate and unconstitutional” and said the school "must take immediate action to end the practice of prayer."

Everett said everyone on the team wants to continue to pray.

The elder Pidgeon said the school's sports teams have been praying for 40 years, and that FFRF's protest is something "we're not going to take lightly."

The trio created and printed T-shirts and hoodies that read "Prayer Matters" and began selling them to pay for a possible defense fund if needed.

"The love and grace of Jesus Christ should be in more places as opposed to less," Brooke Pidgeon said. "[There are] threats all over the place of what could happen [if we continue to pray]."

He said the foundation is "almost bullying" the school into compliance because they likely know the public institution has limited resources to mount any legal defense.


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