Brady Williams and Jarad Bentley play football for Little Miami High School in Morrow, Ohio. Or rather, they used to.
They have been suspended indefinitely after Williams ran onto the field before the game on Friday, 9/11, carrying a thin blue line flag supporting police along with the American flag, and Bentley carried a thin red line flag supporting firefighters.
The boys’ fathers are a police officer and a firefighter, and they wanted to honor the sacrifices made by those two professions on 9/11/01.
When asked if he was trying to make a statement, Williams said:
“No. Not at all. I was just doing it to honor the people that lost their lives 19 years ago.“
The problem was that the boys asked permission before the game, were told no, and did it anyway. On Monday afternoon the athletic director told them they were suspended indefinitely.
School official Gregory Power said:
“We can’t have students who decide to do something anyway after they’ve been told that they shouldn’t be doing it. 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.”
While some people might have been offended or turned off by the boys’ actions, other people support them. Power knows this because he’s been receiving hate mail and angry voicemails since the boys were suspended.