Kirsters Baish| Teenagers are some of the most easily influenced group of individuals. Unfortunately in this case, two high school football players have been booted from their team because they decided to follow in the footsteps of NFL players and protest the National Anthem.

More and more NFL players have been sitting out or kneeling during the National Anthem in protest of “police brutality” and “inequality” in the United States. How the American flag represents injustice towards African Americans is beyond me, but regardless, NFL players have made it clear that they will not respect the flag or the men and women who give up their lives to defend our country.

Many on the Left are making the argument that these NFL players are simply exercising their freedom of speech this simply isn’t so. While they do have the right to peacefully protest, they should not be doing it on the clock, and they simply should not be disrespecting our flag or our country. There are ways to protest (or even better, get out there and make a difference) that don’t blatantly disrespect our country and offend the Armed Forces.

Now this mentality has infected high schoolers. One football coach at Victory & Praise Christian Academy in Crosby, Texas has told two students that they can no longer play on the team because they chose to act out during the National Anthem at their game. The coach, Ronnie Mitchem, is a retired Marine and a pastor. One of the high school players put his fist in the air (most likely representing “black power”) and the other player took a knee during the anthem. Mitchem didn’t waste any time in telling them to remove their uniforms and leave.

The Houston Chronicle wrote:

Cedric Ingram-Lewis raised his fist while cousin Larry McCullough knelt during the anthem ahead of the team’s game against Providence Classical.

After the anthem ended, head coach Ronnie Mitchem instructed them to take off their uniforms and kicked them off the team. Mitchem is a former Marine and pastor who started the church-based football program in Crosby six years ago.

Ingram-Lewis, a sophomore, said the topic of protesting had come up in the locker room before and his cousin McCullough, a senior, even announced he would kneel via social media. The coach had told players he did not want anyone to kneel, citing his service in the military.

This Christian high school wasn’t the first school to let their students know that if they were going to participate in protests they would be off the team. One school in Louisiana also warmed students that if they were going to kneel during the anthem, they would be cut from the team.

CBS Sports also reported that Parkway High School in Bossier, Louisiana, actually sent a letter out to players and their parents that explained that protesting during the anthem would not be tolerated. They stated that any student who participated in the protests would be punished with less time on the field and possible release from the team. LSU running back Derrius Guice and former Tigers quarterback Brandon Harris, a Parkway alumni, stated that they weren’t behind their school’s decision. 

Coach Mitchem had a word of advice for all of his players. The Houston Chronicle wrote that Mitchem stated that he didn’t have a problem if students wanted to protest, but he insisted that they do it in a respectful manner. Kneeling after a touchdown would be appropriate or “writing and passing our a paper about the issues.”

The disrespect of protesting during the National Anthem simply won’t be tolerated, and Americans have made that clear.

One mother, Rhonda Brady, had her own opinions on the protests. She stated:

“I don’t want them back on the team. A man with integrity and morals and ethics and who truly lives by that wouldn’t have done anything like that. Actions speak louder than words. So, for him to do what he did, that really spoke volumes and I don’t want my kids or my nephew to be around a man with no integrity.”

But the coach didn’t agree and believes that they boys’ behavior wasn’t going to work for his team. And for this woman to call a former Marine “a man with no integrity” is simply ridiculous. I’d like to see her say that in front of a group of veterans. It’s time for the disrespect to stop. Standing for the anthem is a privilege that too many Americans are taking advantage of. Being a part of this country is a great gift. It’s time we all start acting like it.

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Kirsters Baish| Teenagers are some of the most easily influenced group of individuals. Unfortunately in this case, two high school football players have been booted from their team because they decided to follow in the footsteps of NFL players and protest the National Anthem. More and more NFL players have...