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At a 9/11 high school football game, two of  Little Miami high school’s players came out on the field carrying a “thin blue line” flag and a “thin red line” flag representing the police and firefighters that lost their lives on September 11. And they were suspended from the team for it.

The students had previously asked for permission to carry the flags, but their request was denied. They did it anyway. It was incredibly brave and I am so proud of those students. Please don’t get me wrong, respecting authority is important, but I was raised that if authority tells you to do something that goes against your beliefs, you take a stand. 

I have no clue why the school administrators wouldn’t let the students carry those flags. The game was in honor of 9/11 so I’m quite confused. The players were reinstated to the team pretty quickly after the story blew up in the media. In their explanation, they said that they realized the flags weren’t a “political statement.” 

No, it wasn’t a political statement, it was an incredible act of respect by two young men raised right. The world needs more people like them.

The school administrators should be ashamed of making baseless accusations. 

Some may argue that the Black Lives Matter organization is standing up for what they believe in too. My above point about listening to authority until they ask you to do something against your beliefs could be thrown back at me in regards to BLM. 

The difference is, we can disagree with authority, we can act contrary to what they say without being blatantly disrespectful, violent, or dishonest. If someone in authority over you asks you to do something that goes directly against what you believe, you have to decide whether your convictions are worth it. And if you decide they aren’t, you explain and take a stand. With respect and kindness. 

Football can be an incredibly important activity for high school guys. Exemplary playing can lead to great scholarships in college. Talented players get noticed, but so does other extracurricular activities, grades, and behavior. These students ran the risk of losing scholarship opportunities by bringing those flags onto the field. They sacrificed something small, for those who sacrificed everything.

The country has become a breeding ground for discrimination, hate, and violence. If someone disagrees with you, they just attack you. Because of this, many people are deciding to stay silent. Conservatives are backing down from sharing their belief because they don’t want to face the bullies on the left. 

We can’t stay silent. We can’t give up our beliefs in order to appease the world. We must stand strong for what we believe or we will fall for everything. Those high school football players knew the risks, and will still face repercussions for their actions. 

They peacefully, respectfully, stood up for what they believe. They made the news. They made their point. Without any violence.

It can be done.

Brittany Slaughter

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