High School Football Players Suspended for Flying Flag Honoring 9/11 First Responders
Players ignored warning they could not fly Thin Blue Line & Thin Red Line flags
Two high school football players have been suspended after they ignored a ban preventing them from flying flags to honor 9/11 first responders during a game on the anniversary of the Islamic terrorist attacks.
The team at the school in Morrow, Ohio, had reportedly been told they couldn't fly Thin Blue Line or Thin Red Line flags honoring the heroic police officers and firefighters who sacrificed their own lives on September 11, 2001.
However, players Brady Williams and Jared Bentley defied the anti-American ban and flew the flags anyway.
“When the Little Miami High School football team took the field Friday, Sept. 11, a couple of players carried alongside the American flag a Thin Blue Line and Thin Red Line flags,” local news outlet WKRC reported.
“The problem is, the boys had asked the school permission prior to the game and they were denied and told if they defied the order, there would be consequences.”
Williams slammed the order, saying he doesn't care what the consequences are as long as his message got across.
Williams and Bentley flew the flags to honor firefighters and police officers on the 19th anniversary of the radical Islamic terrorist attack on September 11, 2001.
The local news station said that Williams’ father is a police officer and Bentley’s father is a firefighter.
Two Little Miami football players pay the price for civil disobedience. They were told not to carry onto the field thin blue line and thin red line flags at their 9/11 game. They did anyway. The school has now suspended them from the team indefinitely. #ThinBlueLine #ThinRedLine pic.twitter.com/19y9GAvaxr— David Winter (@DavidWinterTV) September 14, 2020
“I was all for it,” Bentley explained.
“Because my dad is a firefighter, and if it had been him killed on 9/11, I would have wanted someone to do it for him.”
“I don’t care what my consequences are,” Williams said.
“As long as my message gets across, I’ll be happy.”
Superintendent Greg Power suggested that the boys' decision to show respect for first responders by flying the flags expressed a political point of view.
“We can’t have students who decide to do something anyway after they’ve been told that they shouldn’t be doing it,” Power blasted.
“We did not want to place ourselves in a circumstance where another family might want a different flag to come out of the tunnel, one that, maybe, many other families may not agree with from a political perspective.”
When Williams was asked by local media if the flags were meant to be a political statement, he responded: “No. Not at all.
"I was just doing it to honor the people that lost their lives 19 years ago."
The Enquirer reported that a Facebook event called “We stand with Brady and Jared” has been organized for later this month.
Already more than 1,000 people have responded that they are going.
Little Miami High School gave the following statement to FOX19:
Little Miami Local Schools is saddened to see this story take such a negative turn.
While we understand these students’ desire show their support of our first responders, they did not obtain permission from district officials.
Administrators must act when students break the rules.
The Patriot Night program to memorialize the victims of 9/11 was already part of our pre-game ceremonies on Friday and the American flag is the first thing through the tunnel every Friday night.
Little Miami enjoys an outstanding relationship with local first police and fire agencies and a Little Miami school resource officer is also a high school football coach.
Little Miami always has – and always will – support our first responders, our veterans, and all who sacrifice to maintain our freedoms.