Federal court rules HS football player can’t be forced to stand during anthem

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A federal court has ruled that a high school football player in California can’t be forced by his school district to stand during the national anthem before football games, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

The student, identified as a Native American football player and referred to in court documents as “V.A.,” was emulating NFL players who protest police brutality and racism during the national anthem before games, the news outlet reported.


The San Pasqual Valley Unified School District passed rules banning protests during the anthem after students at a majority-white neighboring school yelled racial slurs at San Pasqual Valley High School students when the player knelt during the anthem before a game, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“We are pleased with this outcome,” Katie Traverso, V.A.’s attorney, said in a news release. “Students like our client who conscientiously carry their values and ideals with them, cannot be silenced or directed on what to say or not say by their school in this manner.”

She added that V.A. will now seek a permanent injunction banning the rule. The court’s decision comes two months after two Texas high school students were kicked off a private football team for similar protests during the national anthem.

NFL players such as former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick have knelt before football games during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice in recent months. The protests sparked a national controversy, which grew when President Trump addressed them at a campaign rally in September.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He is fired,’ ” Trump said at the time.

Trump also attacked Kaepernick, who is credited with starting the protests, and NFL leadership for not suspending him in a Fox News interview in October.

“I watched Colin Kaepernick and I thought it was terrible. And then it got bigger and bigger and started mushrooming. And frankly the NFL should have suspended him for one game and he would have never done it again,” Trump said on Fox News’s “Hannity.”

Tags Colin Kaepernick Donald Trump Football National anthem protests NFL

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