Federal Court Rules that HS Football Player Can’t Be Forced to Stand During the National Anthem

AP Photo/Matt Dunham

A federal court has ruled that a high school in California cannot force a protesting player to stand for the national anthem.

The player, a Native American student referred to in court documents as “V.A.,” had been kneeling in protest during the national anthem. Copying the anthem protests which have become so prevalent in the NFL.

The San Pasqual Valley Unified School District had passed a rule banning anthem protests after an incident where students at a rival school, shouted racial slurs at San Pasqual students who were protesting during the anthem.

The attorney for V.A., Katie Traverso, released a statement hailing the federal court’s ruling.

“We are pleased with this outcome,” Traverso said. “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.”

Though pleased with the ruling, Traverso isn’t stopping there. She went on to say that she will seek a permanent injunction blocking the rule.

The anthem protests have continued all year long in the NFL, despite the fact that Colin Kaepernick did not play this year. The protests took on a heightened sense of importance after President Trump denounced the protesting players in late 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 a political rally in Alabama.

Though the number of protesters has dwindled, the protests have continued. The NFL reached an agreement with player representatives in late November, to distribute $90 million dollars to social justice causes in minority neighborhoods. 


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