Two high school football players in Ohio received scholarships last week after being briefly suspended for carrying pro-police and firefighter flags during a game.
“Brady Williams carried a Thin Blue Line flag and Jarad Bentley carried a Thin Red Line flag onto the field on Sept. 11,” according to ABC 3340.
The Little Miami High School students asked to carry the flags but were denied permission. However, they did it anyway and were suspended, according to Breitbart News.
Two Little Miami football players pay the price for civil disobedience. They were told not to carry onto the field thin blue line and thin red line flags at their 9/11 game. They did anyway. The school has now suspended them from the team indefinitely. #ThinBlueLine #ThinRedLine pic.twitter.com/19y9GAvaxr
— David Winter (@DavidWinterTV) September 14, 2020
In a statement following the event, the school acknowledged the media reaction to its decision and said it was “saddened to see this story take such a negative turn.”
“While we understand these students’ desire (to) show their support of first responders, they did not obtain permission from district officials. Administrators must act when students break the rules,” the statement read.
However, the school reversed its decision Tuesday and unsuspended the teens.
“The results show that there were no political motivations behind this display of support for first responders on 9/11, but there were stances of insubordination,” said Little Miami school board president Bobbie Grice.
“Moving forward, Little Miami is returning the players to active status and this matter will be addressed as an Athletic Department Code of Conduct issue, with any potential consequences to be handled by coaching staff,” Grice noted.
Last week, a nonprofit group called Holiday for Heroes announced it was awarding the two students with scholarships after their actions were turned into a “political statement”:
We are proud to have chosen Little Miami High School students Jared Bentley and Brady Williams as 2 of our 2020 scholarship award recipients, the choice was simple #PATRIOTS @WCPO @ShereeWLWT @FOX19Tricia @FOX19 @WLWT @BrandonSaho @700wlw @WKRQ @B105 pic.twitter.com/fDaVVCgR9J
— A Holiday For Heroes (@Hol4HeroesKy) September 16, 2020
The organization’s press release continued:
Brady and Jarad are true PATRIOTS, they did something last Friday that showed they are far beyond their years. These men stood up for a cause they believe in. As they took the field with flags in hand it reminded us how we felt 19 years ago, heartbroken yet strong and united. It is for this reason Holiday for Heroes has chosen Brady Williams and Jarad Bentley as two of our 2020 scholarship award recipients.
Williams’ father is a sheriff’s deputy and Bentley’s is a firefighter, the release noted.