Two young football players from Little Miami High School were suspended from their team by their institution on Tuesday after entering the field during the last game against Turpin with American flags that had a thin blue and red line showing support for law enforcement.
The incident occurred at a tribute game dedicated to the first responders in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Upon entering the Little Miami field on Sept. 11, cornerback Brady Williams and linebacker Jared Bentley, as is customary, ran onto the center-field carrying U.S. flags, only this time with the flags having thin blue and red lines.
The thin blue line shows support for the nation’s security forces, and the thin red line shows support for firefighters.
In a video posted by David Winter, a local reporter, on his Twitter account, you can see both players’ entry.
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
According to Breitbart, Little Miami Board of Education president, Bobbie Grice, said the facts confirm there was no political motivation of any kind to influence young people to carry those flags that sought to support the 9/11 relief workers.
However, an “insubordinate position” was confirmed.
Grice assured, in the future, it is expected that the institution will reincorporate the players, and the matter will remain in the hands of the team’s technical staff.
The school district sent this statement to FOX19 NOW saying “Little Miami Local Schools is saddened to see this story take such a negative turn. While we understand these students’ desire to show their support of our first responders, they did not obtain permission from district officials. Administrators must act when students break the rules.”
In the meantime, a Facebook event called “We’re with Brady and Jarad” has been created.
Event organizers invite society to gather peacefully at a nearby location with their flags in defense of law enforcement and firefighters, before the next Little Miami game on Friday, Sept. 25.
The event has many messages supporting the youth and in repudiation of the institution that decided to sanction them. Besides, more than 9 thousand people have already confirmed their attendance.
“We are going to support these two brave young men, who are being punished for supporting the hero’s of this country on Patriot’s Day.”
The Cincinnati Enquirer in the latest on the incident said Grice has confirmed the players have been returned to active status after initially being suspended from the team. “The results show that there were no political motivations behind this display of support for first responders on 9/11, but there were stances of insubordination,” Grice said.
“Moving forward, Little Miami is returning the players to active status and this matter will be addressed as an Athletic Department Code of Conduct issue, with any potential consequences to be handled by coaching staff.”