Rick Majerus: Is Nothing Sacred? Not Even Underwear?!

Back in January Rick Majerus offended local Catholics (and particularly Archbishop Raymond Burke) when the Saint Louis University basketball coach publicly stated his support of stem-cell research and abortion rights.

sportsillustrated.cnn.com
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SLU coach Rick Majerus prefers Hawaiian shirts to "magic underwear."
Now it seems Majerus has insulted yet another Christian populace: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Speaking on the syndicated radio program The Dan Patrick Show last week, Majerus opined that nothing -- not even Mitt Romney or Mormons' "magic underwear" -- would help Brigham Young University defeat Texas A&M in the first round of the NCAA basketball tournament.

The comments came at the close of a ten-minute interview on Monday, March 17, in which host Dan Patrick asked Majerus to quickly provide his picks for the tourney. "Let me run down the list," said Patrick. "You just say who you like. You don't have to tell me why unless it's a really insightful comment that the listeners will say, 'Damn, that was insightful.'"

When asked about the BYU-Texas A&M matchup, Majerus responded, "A&M. I don't like BYU from my Utah days. The magic underwear Mitt and those guys send themselves."

Huh? During his tenure at University of Utah, Majerus apparently learned quite a bit about the Mormon culture, including the practice of wearing temple garments under their clothes. The garments -- often referred to as "Mormon underwear" -- are traditionally worn by adherents as a reminder of their promise to live a virtuous life. Though as Slate reported prior to BYU's entrance in last year's tournament, few Mormons wear the garments while competing in sports.

In response to Majerus' comment, a laughing Patrick quickly changed the subject: "You're going to get me put on probation." But not everyone was willing to forgive and forget so quickly.

Posting last week on the sports site bleacherreport.com, blogger Andrew Perkins compared Majerus' comment to Don Imus' ill-fated musings on Rutgers' women's basketball team last year. "Whether or not he has any love towards Mormons is not the issue," wrote Perkins. "The issue is that Majerus said something that is discriminatory and disrespectful to a specific group of people."

Perkins isn't the only one whose shorts are bunched over the remarks. Responding to Perkins' blog post, a reader named Tracy Hall commented, "If Majerus had made a derogatory comment about a Jewish player's 'magic beanie,' he would have been fired on the spot. It's time to realize that anti-Mormons and anti-Semites belong to the same Klan."

No matter whom you support -- the SLU coach or the Mormons -- you can't argue with the coach's pick. The ninth-seeded Aggies beat number-eight seed BYU 67-62.

-Unreal

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14 comments
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Georgina
Georgina

Those people who make fun of my Mormon Underwear has just nothing anything to do with their life rather than talk about other people's underwear.

Caitlin
Caitlin

Majerus is a good coach and he is just speaking his thoughts out loud, you could never let the guy suppress his feelings. That is how he felt about those Mormon Underwear, we can don't hev to label him as such because we don't have any right to do so.

Bob L
Bob L

Was the comment insulting? Yes. Was it meant to be insulting? Absolutely. But tell me. Just what do you expect from the former coach of what has become a very heated rivaly? Flowers and praise? I think not.

While I can't do anything about the comment being insulting, I CAN control if I am going to be offended by it. Whether I am offended or not is 100% my own choice. If I choose to be offended by the Majerus comment then I should also choose to be offended by the myriad of other derogatory comments that are hurled our way on a daily basis in the media. Fortunately, after the Romney run and the public attention that brought, my skin has become a lot thicker to the point where comments like these just roll right off now.

Now, if I could just find my magic carpet and my magic wand I would be all set!

fat dude
fat dude

Majerus is trying to transfer the shame he has for being fat, and coaching at the U of U, by insulting LDS folks.

We understand, life is tough, not just for LDS.

janelleinaz
janelleinaz

This is such a sacred subject that I don't feel we should even give Majerus the time of day to even comment to this article!

Saborn
Saborn

I'm LDS and I must say that the comment was incredibly disrespectful. I'm not offended by it, but I don't think that comments like these should be made in a public form. It's an encouragement to religious bigotry. It wasn't just a put-down of BYU basketball; it was a put-down of the entire LDS community. I'm sorry that we don't believe the same things that he believes in, but most of us are pretty good people and don't deserve that kind of a put-down.

Jamie
Jamie

Who cares? I'm Mormon and not all that offended by this. Yeah its rude, but why do I care what this guys says about my underwear? I think it just makes people look bad when they bad mouth other peoples beliefs.

Jake D.
Jake D.

It's really just a matter of perspective. With the myopic LDS world view, garments are a sacred and protective piece of religious indoctrination given during our initiatory prior to our endowment. But to the world at large they look silly. When you consider the nipple symbols cribbed from masonry, the faith promoting rumors of their protection, and their utter backward appearance they appear funny to the outside world.

The reality is .... garments are underwear that have been attributed magical properties through the years through Ensign articles, conference talks, and rumors told in Sunday school class.

Unless you're willing to equally condemn those making fun of Tom Cruise and Scientology you're probably a bit prejudice yourself.

Jake

Bill
Bill

Wow! What a powerhouse Bball team. What's the team he coaches for now, Saint Louis University? What's next high school Bball, maybe he'll bash one of SLU rivals during a State Bball playoff! The YMCA has openings for Bball coaches!

Dave
Dave

What is particularly hurtful about the comment is that Majerus coached dozens of Mormons while at the U of U. For example, Britton Johnsen served an LDS mission shortly after helping Utah to the 1998 championship game.

Because he coached Mormons, he knows very well that garments are not worn during atheletic contests. And he knows we do not consider them "magic", but a reminder of our commitment to God, much like other christians who choose to wear a crucifix.

By stooping to religious bigotry, Majerus not only attacked his former arch-rival (BYU), he insulted many of his own players who gave their all to him on the court.

Grow up Majerus
Grow up Majerus

Just what a Jesuit school needs: a crazy loudmouth coach reinforcing the stereotype that Jesuits specialize in stomping on other religions.

You don't hear BYU coaches using their media access to catalog the countless peculiarities of the belief system at SLU.

observer
observer

People will say what they will say. GAs have been saying for years that members needs to stop being offended and get over their egos (in not so many words). Mormons - and Jews - and anyone else who's sacred cows can be damaged by a snarky comment will always be offended by something. You can't control other people's snark, only your reaction. If it's personal and special to you, just smile and carry on. No one is under an obligation to respect someone else's beliefs.

Jeff
Jeff

I think Rick Majerus is a brilliant basketball mind. Easily one of the best coaches of the past 20 years, if not all time. During my four years at BYU, I had a front-row seat to his genius as he and his Utes stomped us year after year after year.

However, I agree with Andrew Perkins. His "magic beanie" comparison is spot-on. Mocking the garment is going a too far. The garment is a sacred thing to Mormons. As a Mormon, it offends me to hear Rick Majerus make light of something that represents something very personal and special to me.

JC NAPLES FL
JC NAPLES FL

I lived in Utah while Majerus was coach at the UofU. Anyone who ever saw the guy, spoke to the guy or heard of the guy, knew immediatley he has a singular, spectacular grasp on being an absolute moronic imbecile. He is a walking piece of garbage. But, he is proof that mentally handicapped individuals can coach basketball at the D-I level.

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