Cedric Ingram-Lewis and Larry McCullough were removed from Victory & Praise Christian Academy's football team after protesting during the national anthem this week. Ingram-Lewis raised his fist, recalling the salute of John Carlos and Tommie Smith at the 1968 Olympics, while McCullough kneeled. Head coach Ronnie Mitchem immediately removed them from the team, declaring their actions "offensive to veterans and others."
Ingram-Lewis, a sophomore, said the topic of protesting had come up in the locker room before and his cousin McCullough, a senior, even announced he would kneel via social media. The coach had told players he did not want anyone to kneel, citing his service in the military.
"He told us that disrespect will not be tolerated," Lewis said, recalling the moments after the anthem ended. "He told us to take off our uniform and leave it there."
The school's private, so it can do what it pleases; the boys' recourse is to leave or do as they are ordered.
There's no shots of the protest, so I've included the classic photo of Carlos and Smith to remind us of the sort of transgression Mitchem (right) has a problem with. This man describes himself as a "former" marine. One wonders: what was he fighting for, if not freedom?
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After Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to protest police violence against black Americans, between 61 and 72 percent of Americans disapproved, depending on how the question was posed. That was 2016. Now the number's down to 48 percent, with President Trump's stupid, nasty twittering on the matter earning a dimmer view (57 disapproval) from poll respondents.
Best of all, only 12 percent are fooled by attempts to claim they're protesting the flag itself. American media like to portray Americans as politically ignorant to the bone, but as a Brit I'm often struck by American civic literacy, and that's number's a fair reflection of it.
Players began kneeling during the anthem to protest police brutality against black Americans. Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, suggested Monday that their message had become muddled, saying that if “the debate is really for them about police brutality,” athletes should protest police officers “instead of the American flag.”
Just 12 percent of Americans, however, think that the players’ decision to kneel means that they’re protesting against the American flag. Instead, asked to select which issues they thought the protesters were mostly taking a stand against, 48 percent of respondents chose police violence, with 40 percent saying the players were protesting Trump.
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