Football players in Little Miami, Ohio are being disciplined for showing their support to first responders and police on 9/11.
Bradley Williams and Jared Bentley carried Thin-Blue, and Thin-Red Line flags onto the football field on the 19th anniversary of the attack on the Twin Towers, Local 12 reported.
The boys were suspended from all athletics after supposedly being told by the school that they wouldn’t be allowed to bring the flags on the field, a report contradicted by Kellie Williams, one of the boy’s mother.
“12:00pm Told the boys no. 1:00pm Told them yes. 2:30pm I can’t tell you yes or no. So the flags went out,” Williams said in a Facebook post.
In another statement to Facebook, Williams announced that her son and his teammate were suspended for their actions, though later updates informed supporters of their reinstatement. The statement garnered hundreds of supportive comments from people across the country.
Local 12 asked Brady Williams, Little Miami High School (LMHL)’s senior cornerback if he was trying to make a political statement by bringing the flags onto the field to which he said, “Not at all. I was just doing it to honor the people that lost their lives 19 years ago.”
After a massive public outcry, including a group of protesters standing across the street from LMHL waving American flags as school got out Little Miami Local Schools published a letter walking back the suspension of the boys.
As @LM_Schools dismiss for the day a small group of people are standing outside the high school waving flags to show their support for the two students who ran with the flags during Friday’s game and got in trouble for it. @wlwt pic.twitter.com/hFE0YB1KaB
— Karin Johnson WLWT (@karinjohnson) September 15, 2020
“While the district understands these students’ desire to show support of our first responders, especially on the anniversary of 9/11 they did not obtain permission” the letter stated. The letter goes on to note that the school board had investigated the incident and found no “political motivations” behind the actions of the students and that the school is “returning the players to active status,” though further consequences might be handled by members of the athletic department.
It is unclear what would have happened if the players’ intentions were politically motivated, or why that would be a problem. LMHL is listed by WVXU as one of the schools that took part in the 2018 “Enough: National School Walkout,” put on by the pro-gun control March for Our Lives.
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