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Ohio High School Football Players Suspended For Carrying Flags On 9/11 (Update)

Two football players on the Little Miami (OH) High School team have been suspended from the team after they defied school officials and carried a thin blue line and thin red line flags, supporting police and firefighters, onto the field before last Friday’s September 11 game.

Senior cornerback Brady Williams, whose father is a police officer, carried the thin blue line flag onto the field. “I was just doing it to honor the people that lost their lives 19 years ago,” Williams told WKRC.

The thin red line flag was carried by Jarad Bentley. His father is a firefighter. “I was all for it,” he told the Cincinnati TV station. “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.”

The two players asked school officials for permission to carry the flags, but they were denied. The players chose to defy the school authorities and the school responded by slapping them with an indefinite suspension.

“We can’t have students who decide to do something anyway after they’ve been told that they shouldn’t be doing it,” Little Miami Superintendent Gregory Power told WKRC. “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.”

Brady Williams’ mother, Kellie, wrote on Facebook about the situation and what it means for her son to take a stand:

On the anniversary of one of the worst days in American history, my son and some of his teammates want to honor the men and women who gave their lives to save others. They want to honor firefighters and law enforcement officers by carrying the thin red line and thin blue line flags in addition to the American flag as the Little Miami Local Schools Panthers take the football field tonight.

Unfortunately, they were told no. NO?! On the 19th anniversary of 9/11?! Let me also say that one of their coaches is a police officer. One of their players LOST a family member on 9/11/01. My emails to the AD, assistant AD, and AD secretary have all gone unanswered. I have never been more disappointed in a school’s decision.

Sometimes standing for something that’s right, means you may stand alone. I’m proud of the son we have raised. A son that knows right from wrong. He knows the importance of honoring the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice at a time when he wasn’t even born. WE WILL NEVER FORGET!

Update: the school district has reinstated the football players.

**UPDATE** 2 PLAYERS HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED INDEFINITELY FROM ATHLETICS***Sometimes doing the right thing means you stand…

Posted by Kellie Gantzer Williams on Friday, September 11, 2020

Posted by Kellie Gantzer Williams on Monday, September 14, 2020

 

 

Written by Joe Kinsey

I'm an Ohio guy, born in Dayton, who roots for Ohio State and can handle you guys destroying the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer and everything associated with Columbus.

14 Comments

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  1. If you reach out to the superintendent, please be respectful (as I just was in my email to him), and indicate what you believe about honoring police and fire on 9/11, and that you are asking him to reconsider his decision. Threats and insults will do nothing for these students, and will likely cause him to entrench on his decision.

    This is the superintendent’s email: gpower@lmsdoh.org

  2. Public school systems are the worst if you can send your child to a private school do whatever you can to make that happen whatever sacrifice will be worth it. Good for those young men they are on the right track and i certainly hope they receive full support from the community.

  3. I’d like to see what education and sport program issues are most important to tax payers, and match them against what these administrators are spending their time focusing on. I’m guessing there’s no alignment whatsoever. There needs to be more accountability on people in such positions. If they have time to regulate flag carrying on 9/11 they must have solved all those more important issues challenging Florida school systems.

  4. Post from The Cincinnati.com/ Inquirer story
    Posted 11:49 pm 9/14 / Updated 2:01 pm 9/15
    “(Jarad) and Brady took a Thin blue and red striped flag out on the field after they were told not to,” the petition said. “The school suspended them indefinitely for supporting their fallen hero’s (sic). Sign this petition to help unsuspend the 2 student-athletes who have lost their senior season.”

    “Megan Adkins says her Black son, a third-grader who looks up to the football players, deserves to feel safe in Little Miami Schools and that the flag represents a “rebuttal of the black lives matter movement” and alienates Black students.”

    NICE TO SEE MRS. ADKINS HAS BOUGHT INTO THE KAP AND LeBIGOT PROPAGANDA THAT WE CAN’T HONOR 9-11 HEROES B/C IT MIGHT OFFEND HER THIRD GRADER…AND MRS. ADKINS ALSO WORRIES THAT HE WILL BE HUNTED WHEN HE GOES OUTSIDE THEIR HOME.

    “Clearly this is a political statement because of people contacting (President) Donald Trump and becoming overly aggravated,” Adkins said. “If you look at the support pages, it is almost all white folks. And I get it. People want to support what they believe in. But not at the cost of my son and his worries of what police could do to him just simply for the color of his skin.”

    SUPPOSEDLY THEY HAVE BEEN REINSTATED, BUT I DIDN’T SEE IT IN THIS UPDATED STORY.

    MRS. ADKINS…RESPECTFULLY…TEACH YOUR SON THAT POLICE AND FIRE FIGHTERS ARE THE GOOD GUYS. NOBODY ELSE WILL RUN TOWARDS THE PERIL TO SAVE YOUR LIVES AT THE EXPENSE OF THEIR OWN LIVES.

  5. Yeah. 9/11 was a non-political event with an overwhelming bi-partisan response. It was a shared experience for nearly every American. I can respect if the school administrators are not allowing any flags, regardless of their design, to be flown until further notice. On the other hand, Pink Floyd created “Another Brick In the Wall” in response to people with the superintendent’s sentiments about children.

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