Mormon Athlete Gets Fined $10,000 For Standing Up For His Beliefs



When Shawn Bradley played in the NBA, he was constantly faced with decisions that challenged his faith and his resolve to make the right choices.

One particular night the owner of the team called him up and said that there was a mandatory team meeting, players only. They had planned a dinner but Bradley just wasn’t comfortable with the name of the restaurant. Bradley asked about the restaurant and asked if it was a strip club. They told him that yes, it’s a strip club but it’s the only place that we could find to meet tonight.

Bradley responded:

Guys, you understand I will not go there…it’s outside of my value system that I’m just not willing to do.

They told him that it was a mandatory meeting and if he didn’t attend it, it would be a $10,000 fine. He reiterated that it was against his beliefs and he would not compromise on those beliefs and “if you have to fine me, you’ll have to fine me.”

Bradley understood that the environment which they were going to be meeting was just not going to be conducive to anything other than temptations and naked women and stood his ground understanding that he had to draw a line as to what he was willing to cross and more importantly, having the courage not to cross that line once he was presented with that option.

If you want to watch the entire 30 for 30 short that ESPN did on Shawn Bradley, you can watch it below.


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70 Replies to “Mormon Athlete Gets Fined $10,000 For Standing Up For His Beliefs”

  1. Shawn Bradley is doing the right thing as taught by his parents and his church. Religious people in all walks of life are being accosted by unbelievers and those with an evil intent. “If you done stand for something you will fall for anything.” Meetings can be held in parks, and other venues with a better environment.

  2. I don’t believe that was the only place they could find to meet. Totally ridiculous. But, if he has to pay a fine to stand up for what he believes, then congrats to him for doing that. If more men on the team stood up with him, the managers would have magically found another meeting place.

      1. The story originated from Bradley himself during the ESPN 30 for 30 short called “Grantland”. It was brought up during a section of the special that discusses how he had a difficult time gaining acceptance from other players and basketball figures because his religious beliefs and standards.

        1. I don’t known or understand why it is so difficult for members to be accepted for their ‘unique’ beliefs. I’ve had a few snubs by people but whenever I’ve lived in non-LDS areas I’ve had nothing but respect and consideration. But now that I’ve left the church (I live in Provo) and no longer believe I have people treating me like a leper and are convinced I’m under Satan’s power. Gimme a break.

  3. A strip club is an inappropriate place for any business meeting that doesn’t involve prostitution or drugs. He was right not to go.

    1. You’d be surprised at how many people use the business meeting for an excuse to go to a strip club. It happens a lot in Texas where there are many “Gentlemen’s” Clubs kind of an oxymoron since no true gentleman would be found in a strip club.

      1. No, I wouldn’t be surprised and I’d be willing to bet that many others wouldn’t be surprised either. That, in itself, is a huge problem.

    2. Sorry, but I’m confused J.C. Are you saying that if a business meeting is to involve prostitution or drugs it shouldn’t be held in a strip club? Sounds kind of backwards to me.

  4. Good for Shawn for standing tall for his beliefs!
    I learned a new word: posterize! Almost as good as PONDERIZE !

  5. A lot of people regardless of their religious standing would find that uncomfortable and wouldn’t attend. But good for him anyway. How dare they fine him. A strip club is no place for any serious meeting, it’s just an excuse to see naked women. Shame on them and those who did attend.

  6. I met Shawn and his wife briefly a few years ago when they were considering purchasing our home in Eagle Mountain. They were kind and gracious and, of course, it’s always fun to see a successful Mormon somewhere. This story is great for much more important reasons than success and fame. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Take them to court. This is religious discrimination and is illegal. Sure he may have to pay the fine but the team owner will have to pay him 2 mil

      1. Dear Pondering, Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Saints are Christians even thou they have the nickname of Mormon.

        1. I think Ohger1 was just being ironic and was making a reference to the fact that no one worries about discriminating against Christians these days. Any other belief system can yell discrimination, but when we Christians do, we’re called “haters.”

    1. might want to check your browser history. the ads at the bottom are based off of YOUR browser history and are targeted towards you specifically.

  8.   I think a case could very easily be made that compelling an employee to go to a strip club (assuming tat that employees duties and job description do not include anything that specifically calls for presence in such a place) would constitute a form of sexual harassment.  Mr. Bradley should sue.

  9. Too bad he wasn’t strong enough to “stand up for his beliefs” when it came to keeping the sabbath day holy.

    Personally I think this is a made up story.

    1. Yeah, I have the same belief as Bradley, but I’m not convinced that this story is real either. I need to research this some more. As far as working on the Sabbath day, Why be concerned with that? I think, I know why. Are you someone that grew up in the church and you left it because you thought that it was a bunch of bs because the people seemed hypocrtical and full of shit. Let me know I enjoy the guessing game.

    2. Not sure what you’re referring to when you talk about keeping the Sabbath, but if you’re talking about basketball, I DO know that LDS golfing great Billy Casper asked the prophet how to resolve the issue of golf tournaments on Sunday, and the prophet told him that it was required in his profession – the way he provided for his family – and that he should not hesitate to do what was required.

      I worked in hospitals and hotels when I was young. Some jobs have to include Sundays.

      1. Ok — so he didn’t go to a strip club. What about the numerous young men (and women I would presume) that have have chosen NOT to enter then NBA, NFL, WNBA, etc. because it required them to play on Sunday? Where is the article about them “standing up for their beliefs”? In my opinion, those individuals are MUCH more honorable then Shawn avoiding a strip bar.

        Articles like this are meant to give us faith promoting warm fuzzies, but ends up making us look like self promoting, aggrandizing tools.

        1. How does your judgmental post make us look as well? How is it your business, if a man’s job obligates him to work on Sunday? Seems like you just want to find fault. Whether that is appropriate between him and the Lord doesn’t involve you one way or the other.

          1. My judgemental post? What, can I ask, was judgemental about it? Your simple implication that my post was judgements is pretty judgemental yourself.

            All I am saying is we should live our religion — all of it — not just the parts that agree make our lives comfortable and accommodating. Shawn didn’t have to play in the NBA – he could have made a decent living doing something that didn’t require him to play on Sunday. I guess the lure of a 7 figure income was just too much. Sad.

            As mentioned by another commenter on this thread <> I would guess this wasn’t because of his refusal to go to the strip club, but more his inability to follow the FULL tenants of his religion. Please think about that — seriously.

          2. You really think that you live all of this religion? All of it? Your own words verify that you are passing judgment. Just look back at your own comments and distinguish between fact and your judgmental views. I don’t have to judge anything; you are clearly judging per your ideas. You judge that he played ball to get rich. You judged that you think he made this story up. You judge his lack of acceptance in his lack of obedience. You don’t think you are passing unrighteous judgment in those things? Almost sounds like you think he has personally wronged you or something.

          3. I never said I lived ALL of this religion did I? Only one man ever has or will. You should know that. However, the parts I struggle with are my own struggles – what I don’t do is make choices in obvious opposition to what the church teaches and then present myself as a admirable example of said religion.

            If it makes you feel better to think I am judging, fine. I can accept that.

            It is just sad that people have to use excuses to justify following what we proclaim to be the truth. (yes… I know, another “judgement”) Shawn hasn’t “personally wronged” me in any way, however I will admit it does irk me when people look up to guys like this as shining examples of who we are. “Oh my goodness – this poor guy was fined $10,000 dollars for standing up for his beliefs — how horrible — I am so glad I get to watch him play next Sunday!!!” What about the man who struggles to make ends meet while employed at a lower paying job rather than work on Sunday? A much greater sacrifice in my opinion — but do we read about him anywhere? No

            So Ken — continue living your life with your head in the sand. Maybe our church needs more people like you and Shawn to gain greater acceptance in the world. All part of God’s plan???

          4. I am not living with my head in the sand, nor am I seeking acceptance of the world. This story was intended to inspire people by relating a story about how someone was willing to lose 10k to hold to their standard. You turned it into a ‘bash Bradley for working on the Sabbath, what a poor role model’ rant. You took an inspiring story and attempted to drag it down to some kind of hypocrisy. One tries to build up; another seeks to tear down. Whose disciple seeks to do what? You chose to place yourself among the scribes and pharisees by dragging the guy out in here, accusing him of several things that were all based on ‘what you guess’. You are trying to hold us to a standard that you admit you can’t meet yourself. Is there a better example of unrighteous judgment?

          5. I fully agree that other people’s sacrifices are great too, even if they don’t amount to 10k. But it is wrong to berate people because their sacrifices are different than ours. We don’t even have a clue about what other people’s lives fully consist of or what they have to deal with, or even the role God intends for them to fill on this earth. Just because they may be rich or famous doesn’t mean everything is easier for them. We may fail to live up to a lot of commandments, but unjust judgment should be high on a disciple’s list, since being able to enjoy the full fruits of the atonement for our own imperfections fully hinges directly on how we judge our fellow men.

        2. I am a sinner….I work every other Sunday…in fact there have been some YEARS when I worked every Sunday (Every day, in fact, including holidays), I did not even take off birthdays or anniversaries.
          I keep forgetting that man was made for the Sabbath.

          1. The Bible tells us that our ways are not God’s ways. He sees the big picture. He guides each individual in different ways. Some people choose not to go into professions that require them to work on Sundays. Some do. It does not mean that prayer was not involved in the decision making process for any of these people. I personally believe that God will use a member’s fame to help be an example and to shine a light on the church. It’s a form of missionary work really. Bradley, just like Steve Young, has chosen sports. Due to his fame I think there are those whose interest in the church will increase because of it. This can only be a good thing. As for AlmaMatter’s comment that he could have done something else, that is true. However there is much we don’t know. If basketball is where his greatest talent is and would enable him to best provide for his family, and if he prayed about it before deciding, then he has done the right thing. If a person is told by the Spirit not to go into sports (or work on Sunday or whatnot) and he/she does it anyway, then that person is disobeying the Lord. If the person is told by the Spirit to pursue it then he is obeying the Lord.

        3. It’s pretty hard to point to a good example if you have no knowledge of it. Lots of people make quiet, personal decisions, every day and we’d love to hear their stories but no one tells them.

          How many individual, personal accounts can you tell about the Anti-Nephi-Lehies? None. Only the broad picture of a brave and devout group. But if an individual story of one person or one family were available to us, don’t you think we’d tell and retell that story and hold that individual up as an example to our children?
          We can only share the ones that are made public. I don’t think it’s self aggrandizing or self promoting to point out a good example to our kids when we see it.

          1. That would be great — IF — this was a TRUE example of how Latter Day Saints should conduct their lives. The left side of his mouth is saying – “I can’t go to a strip club” while the right side of his mouth is saying “Sure… I’ll play on Sunday”

            Think about it. Would you be comfortable telling your kids they should honestly pay their tithing while sipping a cup of coffee? We can’t pick and choose how we live our religion. Yes, I understand there are circumstances that force some people to work on Sunday and i am sure the Lord understands that — but that doesn’t apply to Shawn (who is being held up as an example) — he could have easily found a job that didn’t require him to work on Sunday. So really think about it.

          2. You think God blessed him to be over 7 ft and handle a ball to do your job instead? Or Steve Young to spend all those years in some obscure job instead of beung a rare positive influence in his field?

          3. I am sure that was God’s plan —

            “I will make him 7 ft tall so he can play ball on Sunday and be a shining example of my truth to the world. Oh! That reminds me… I need to give my PR man a raise — he hasn’t had one since Steve Young”

          4. Elder Nelson surely knew that if he became a doctor, he’d have to work a lot of Sundays. He could have chosen another line of work. You must think he’s a terrible hypocrite!

            Bill Marriott knew that hotels have to make people work on Sundays. He didn’t have to go into that business. And he serves COFFEE in his restaurants! Aren’t you outraged?

            Nobody is FORCED to work on the Sabbath except maybe soldiers and even then, we have a volunteer military, so I guess our LDS heroes are all two faced as well, right?

            You’ve got issues that need resolving, my friend, and they are going to be a lot harder to explain on the other side than a Sunday basketball game.

      1. Listen — you need to either live your religion or not. Are you really ok with picking and choosing what you should follow and what you won’t? In Shawn’s example I guess he drew the line at strip clubs. Remember — WE are an example to others! So live how you must and hope it is enough.

        1. You think it’s your place to decide how anyone else manages employment and sabbath day observance? Should Mormons refrain from being police officers, doctors, nurses, military, airline, or any other profession that cover Sundays to adhere to your personal standard? You should hope your harsh judgment isn’t meted back against you someday for anything in your life that might be left of the perceived right.

          1. <>
            No — that would be the prophets. I’m just doing my best to follow all the guidance and instruction I have been given rather than pick and choose what I want to following using excuses to justify. “I’m a Dr. so I have to work on Sunday. Sorry God.”


            MY personal standard? That is laughable – that says a lot about you Ken. If observing the Sabbath day is not part of your standard, then what is? Let me guess — only those tenants that don’t inconvenience you? Am I right?

            Also – for your information — there are millions of people in the world who are not LDS. I think for a member of the LDS faith to not chose a career that requires them to work on Sunday will not bring the world to an end. Think about it — what is more important?? Is it really “harsh” judgement to expect those who proclaim to be worthy members to actually live what they profess??

          2. Haha. Now you judge me too. What do I believe about keeping the Sabbath holy? I believe what we were recently taught by President Nelson: that the way i do it is a sign between God and i, that it doesn’t really come down to making a list of do’s and do not’s. I don’t work on Sunday. I don’t watch TV on Sunday. My kids don’t run around and play with friends on sunday. Frankly, my church service ties me up for the entire day. But I will never berate someone else for their sign between them and God.

          3. If you were truly “doing your best to follow all the guidance and instruction you have been given,” you would stop offering your judgement. You would stop telling people how to live their faith. That’s what the prophets instruct us to do, at least.

            “We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children.”


            You surely have your reasons for sinning in this manner. Bradley has his own. They’re between him and Our Father, but it is hard for me to imagine turning down a 10,000% pay raise, no matter the schedule.

          4. If you end up in the hospital for any length of time you will need care every day of the week including Sunday. Should you not receive care because every doctor and nurse is off for the Sabbath? The horse is in the mire – someone needs help! A doctor or nurse who is LDS or Christian should be supported in their sacrifice (sacrificing church and time with family) so that others can receive care and live. It’s not unlike when members visit the sick on Sunday. It is actually an approved way of observing the Sabbath (visiting the sick and afflicted). Docs and nurses just take it a few steps further.

    3. Well that escalated fast didn’t it…contention contention contention. Probably should keep comments that an be degrading to yourself.

  10. I wish you would have picked a picture of him dressed a little more modestly. He’s obviously not wearing his G’s and I’m offended that you would think that in that pose he’d be a shining example of chastity.

    1. IT is his basketball uniform. Chastity and his uniform have nothing in common. I don’t think you know what the word means.

      1. I had a uniform once when I worked at Hooters. It was not appropriate for me to go around town dressed like I was going to wash dishes. Being a dishwasher is not for everyone. I get that.

  11. Well, the times I have been, usually because I was in the car with me compadres, or the customer. These places are really depressing to me. I saw nothing but someone else’s daughters prancing around. At least they gave him a choice ahead of time. And good on him for his choice.

  12. Almamater: I don’t understand why some people think they have a right to “judge” other peoples behavior, choices, actions, whether they be members of the church or not. It is no one’s business but their own, between them and the Lord. You may not like it and it you don’t, then move on and don’t use it as any kind of example to your family or for yourself, no one asked you too. Not wearing his “G’s”? not your business. Working on Sunday? Not your business. Don’t believe the story? Then fine. Go do something else.

    Beware that when you judge someone that same judgement WILL not may but will, be meted against you so be careful how you judge others. Remember, the universal law of the sower…whatsoever ye sow, so shall ye reap…in spades.

    Everyone has a right to choose there own life events and paths and occupation, yes, he can choose what he wants to do to make a living even if you don’t like it. The Lord blessed him with height and talent and he used it to his best advantage. So Shawn Bradley played in the NBA and was probably faced with a lot of difficult choices. How he made his decisions would be between his wife, himself, and the Lord. And who is to say that whatever he did or didn’t do what just exactly as the Lord intended. Certainly not you or me or anyone else. So get a grip and live your life and let others live theirs without you judging them. It’s enough that the Lord will do that.

  13. He might want to consider legal action. He was willing to go to a mandatory meeting, but they made it impossible for him to attend. I am pretty sure they knew his value system by then and they chose that environment anyway. How nice of them. *shakes head* Thank you Bradley for being a great example of being a gentleman as well as a man of integrity.

  14. The music is so unnecessary. It’s silly. Let the story and experience stand on its own. The story is so wonderful!

  15. I am sure that if they really wanted to have a serious meeting and location was such an issue, the Bishop would have approved using the ward building. Of course strippers and alcohol not allowed.

  16. That was a pretty decent feature on Bradley. Goodonya, ESPN films. Now if you could get your collective act together regarding Curt Schilling instead of trying to rewrite history.

  17. Exactly….that is rediculous that they would use that excuse….that they couldn’t find anywhere else. What if other men with wives or girlfriends or just some plain old morals did not want to either. Nobody should be fined for that. That’s teams managers were just scmucks. Way to stand up for yourself and do the right thing.

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