OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Local 12 reported that Little Miami High School football players were suspended from their high school’s football team after carrying a “thin blue line” and “thin red line” flag before their game last week on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
Brady Williams, a senior cornerback, carried the thin blue line flag for the police officers that died protecting lives on 9/11. His father is a police officer and when asked by Local 12 whether this was a political statement, Brady responded: “No. Not at all. I was just doing it to honor the people that lost their lives 19 years ago.”
The other football player suspended from the team was Jarad Bentley. Bentley carried the “thin red line” flag during the walkout before the game. Bentley’s father is a firefighter and carried the flag in honor of the firefighter who gave their lives in a relentless pursuit to find survivors of the terrorist attack.
Local 12 asked a similar question to Bentley as they did to Williams, and he responded, saying, “I was all for it because my dad is a firefighter, and if it has been him killed on 9/11, I would have wanted someone to do it for him.”
The players were defying orders given to them by the school. They asked before the game if they could run with the flags, and the school denied their request.
The school told the players that they would have consequences to which Williams responded saying, “Listen, I don’t care what my consequences are as long as my message gets across, I’ll be happy.”
The superintendent, Gregory Power, told Local 12 that, “we can’t have students who decide to something anyway after they’ve been told that they shouldn’t be doing it.”
Here is the problem. Gregory Power refused to honor the brave men and women that died on 9/11 because he saw the flags as a political gesture instead of a patriotic one. Power said, “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 may be [one that] many other families may not agree with from a political perspective.”
It is hacks like him that politicizes a flag that supports the brave men and women that go out every day and “deploy” into unsafe neighborhoods.
One of the marines on the team that took out Osama Bin Laden, Johnny Jones, said that “officers are infinitely more likely to find themselves in a deadly encounter than 90% of the 19-year-olds” in the military. He said this in response to questions about a video showing Antifa members jumping on the front of a squad car before it peeled away.
He continued saying: “Training and conditioning are the most critical resources lacking in most police departments. I used the term “infinitely” as a colloquialism b/c police officers are “on deployment” every day of their careers while most of those 19-year-old service members never deploy.”
In the future, when I get worried about the upcoming generations and what their society will look like, I’ll remember this story. These parents should be proud of these boys. They stood up for the right thing, no matter the consequences.
They are braver than most adults. It is okay to love America. It is okay to be patriotic. It is okay to be grateful for the job that our police and fire departments do to keep us safe.
Two high school football players were suspended for carrying flags supporting the police and firefighters.
This is where we're at in America in 2020. If you kneel during the anthem, you're a hero.
If you support the police, you're not allowed to play. pic.twitter.com/5934NTViR9
— David Hookstead (@dhookstead) September 15, 2020