We’ve seen the Kap effect spread across the NFL and to other sports, including the WNBA, volleyball and even a pee-wee football team.
Friday night the movement made an appearance at a high school football game, after which two players were immediately dismissed from the team.
Larry McCullough and Cedric Ingram Lewis, cousins and players at private high school Victory and Worship Academy in Crosby, TX, were dismissed from the team immediately after one took a knee and the other raised his fist during the national anthem.
“Before every game, we always pray and then say the anthem. At the game, I decided to stay on my knee, rather than say the anthem,” said McCullough to KPRC 2 news.
“I wasn’t trying to disrespect the flag. It was really showing the injustice for black people, all the stuff that’s going on in the NFL, stuff like that, so I feel I need to be a part of it, too.”
But as has been the norm for the majority of those who oppose these protests and the timing in which they’ve occurred, the teen’s actions were perceived as disrespecting the flag and veterans, the latter of which their coach, Ronnie Mitchem, falls under as he is a former Marine. Mitchem, through a Facebook post, stated he doesn’t oppose the protest, but doesn’t approve of it during the national anthem.
His full post is below:
“Thanks to all of you for your support. I want to be clear that I don’t have a problem with people protesting if it is done the right way. But to disrespect the flag that gives us the right to protest is the wrong way to do it. I gave the two players other ways to protest that I felt was fair.
“I served in the U.S. Marine along side men of different colors and back grounds. My Marine drill instructors told us there was no black or white marine just marine Corp green and we would all fight for our country together. As a Christian We often times have different opinions on scripture but the one common thread to all believers is the blood of Jesus and what he did at the cross for us.
“As Americans we have one common thread and that is that men/women of all color have fought and died to give us the right to live free and to get to play football on a Friday night and all the other liberties we have. To disrespect that is not right. I love these two young men and one of them has spent the night at my house and I have taken him to football camps. He and my son are good friends. ,
“But I know and most Americans know and understand that if we lose that one common thread the love of country and respect for what we have then it won’t be long before we lose that freedom that we have. Martin Luther King was one of the greatest men to ever live and he always had the American flag in his marches and rallies. He did not hate America he wanted America to be the greatest nation on earth and I do not believe his dream included disrespecting our great nation and those who have died for it.
“Black, white, Asian , Hispanic all have come to this great nation and many have died so I could Pastor/coach and play football on Friday night. Though many may disagree with me this is what I believe and as an American I have that right. I pray these young men across America can come to understand there is a right and wrong way to do things. God bless America”
Now while he has a right to his beliefs, it will be interesting to see if he has any legal standing when it comes to his decision to actually dismiss these two young players, which he did immediately after the anthem when he told them to remove their uniforms on the field and leave.
Interesting that the coach stated that he “gave the two players other ways to protest [that he] felt was fair”, that “men/women of all color have fought and died to give us the right to live free and to get to play football on a Friday night and all the other liberties we have” and that, in referencing Martin Luther King, “I do not believe his dream included disrespecting our great nation and those who have died for it.”
Apparently only his views counted when it comes to how players, especially young Black players, are feeling and how they need to express their feelings in a completely legal, peaceful manner, one reminiscent of Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics. Through his statements it’s obvious he feels that these 16-year old boys are disrespecting the nation by bringing attention to a cause which impacts them directly, but others aren’t disrespecting boys who look like them in any way.
This unfortunate outcome is a manifestation of the hypocrisy surrounding these protests and demonstrates exactly why these protests are necessary.