Minnesota apologizes for mascot mocking prayer

The University of Minnesota is apologizing after its Goldy Gopher mascot poked fun at a Penn State football player who was praying before last week’s game.

A video made before Saturday’s game at State College shows Penn State defensive end Jerome Hayes kneeling in prayer in the end zone.

Goldy Gopher kneels in front of Hayes, according to the video posted on YouTube. When Hayes stands up, so does Goldy. The mascot tries to make some contact, but Hayes ignores him and trots back to the bench.

Minnesota spokesman Dan Wolter says the stunt was “plainly a mistake” and the mascot didn’t intend to offend anyone or trivialize religion.

Penn State athletics spokesman Brian Siegrist had no comment Thursday. Penn State won the game 20-0.