O'Bannon football players suspended from team for taking a knee - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

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O'Bannon football players suspended from team for taking a knee during national anthem

Source: Josh Troy/The Clarksdale Press Register Source: Josh Troy/The Clarksdale Press Register
Source: The Delta News Source: The Delta News
GREENVILLE, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

"Don't stand, don't play."

That's the message the Western Line School District has sent to the O'Bannon High School football team in Greenville, Mississippi after four players took a knee during the national anthem prior to a game against Coahoma County. 

The players have been suspended indefinitely from the team by the school district. Western Line Superintendent Larry Green says what the players did goes against an "unwritten" rule. 

"We talked to the administration, coaching staff and parents and they are in agreement it should not have happened," said Green. "We think the punishment is adequate for what happened. Maybe they can come back before the season is over. We haven't closed the door. We just want them to understand the value to respect our country and flag."

The issue has been met with controversy on social media, with an overwhelming number of Facebook users supporting what the players did.

"Good for them! Kids need to respect our flag and our anthem! If you wanna protest....do it on your own time." 

" I stand with these brothers who else stands with them."

 "How can they be punished under an “unwritten” rule?? I would be returning with my “imaginary” attorney????"

"As a veteran I feel like we fought so people here in America can exercise their freedom to speak and believe what they like... I stand with you boys and I see nothing wrong with what y'all did."

State Senator Derrick Simmons expressed his outrage over the suspension of the players:

I am totally outraged that these students have been suspended for exercising their right to peacefully protest their beliefs and make a statement through a gesture that has long been practiced in many sports across this country.

I am appalled that these teenagers who give so much of themselves to entertain us by playing football and achieving their dreams have been violated by school administrators who apparently agree with the racist mentality of our president, who created this issue for reasons unknown and has so little respect for certain segments of our country that he publicly called a black athlete a “son of a …..”, and suggested that black players who kneel for the anthem be fired from the team. 

These young boys were suspended for supposedly violating “an unwritten policy.” 

This is truly shameful behavior on behalf of public school officials.

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