Over the past several weeks, the NFL has been embroiled in an ongoing controversy over the National Anthem and players’ rights to not stand and honor America. The NFL has faced significant backlash over its handling of the situation, yet many players continue to disrespect our country by kneeling during the playing of our National Anthem.
Well, such disrespect of our nation has unfortunately spread beyond the NFL, but unlike the league’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, one high school coach is standing up for our country.
Texas high school football coach Ronnie Mitchem, who is also a pastor of the Victory and Praise Worship Center in Crosby, Texas, kicked two of his players off the team for their refusal to stand for the National Anthem before a recent game. The two players, who are cousins, protested the anthem in different ways. Larry McCullough chose to kneel during the National Anthem, whereas his younger cousin, Cedric Ingram, raised his fist in salute.
Coach Mitchem is a military veteran and said that while he has nothing against these two players, he took issue with the way they decided to protest. Mitchem told CNN affiliate KTRK that his players were not allowed to kneel during the anthem as part of a longstanding team rule.
He made clear that he has no problem with people protesting “if it is done in the right way. But to disrespect the flag that gives us the right to protest is the wrong way to do it. Though many may disagree with me, this is what I believe and as an American, I have that right. I pray these young men across America can come to understand there is a right and wrong way to do things.”
Lewis’ mother, Rhonda Brady, said she was upset with the coach’s decision because “He’s a pastor. The way he handled it is almost a slap in the face. I placed them in a Christian-based program so they wouldn’t have to go through things like this.”
Another military veteran, Wayne Dupree, has argued that Mitchem made the right call and should enforce this team rule and not allow any of his players to disrespect the anthem.
Do you agree with this coach’s decision to kick two players off his team for refusing to stand for the National Anthem? Share your thoughts below!