The Boston Athletic Association faced serious backlash and eventually apologized, after carelessly tossing a U.S. flag to the ground during a ceremony.
Representatives of the organization dropped the flag to the ground and pushed it to the side Monday during a medal ceremony for Daniel Romanchuk, the winner of the men’s wheelchair race at the Boston Marathon, USA Today reported.
The discarded flag can be seen to Romanchuk’s left in the video posted by WBZ sports reporter Scott Sullivan:
📹♿️🇺🇸MEN'S WHEELCHAIR WINNER📹♿️🇺🇸@Illinois_Alma alum Daniel Romanchuk receives his #BostonMarathon winner's wreath and trophy while The National Anthem is played in #Boston #WBZ #BostonStrong #BostonMarathon @bostonmarathon pic.twitter.com/8mkKTA9S4E
— Scott Sullivan (@SliceOfSully) April 15, 2019
The flag had been used in a previous photo, but later cast aside.
— Boston Informer (@boston_informer) April 15, 2019
As soon as fans got a look at the way “Old Glory” was treated, many criticized the organization for its actions.
In short order, Jack Fleming, the chief operating officer of the BAA, offered an apology.
“The Boston Athletic Association apologizes sincerely for the nature in which our Men’s Wheelchair Award Ceremony was held,” Fleming said in a statement Monday afternoon. “We are reviewing our Awards protocol to ensure that this does not happen again. The Boston Marathon has been an American tradition for more than a century and we take pride in the passion and determination that participants, spectators, and volunteers from around the world display at our annual event”
“Our flag is a symbol of freedom, unity, and community spirit — all of which are virtues that the Boston Athletic Association supports,” the statement concluded.
— Doug Meehan (@dougmeehan) April 15, 2019
Total Disrespect to our great American Flag on the anniversary of the Boston marathon bombing. pic.twitter.com/QnqB1lvi1P
— Rock Pile (@Rockpile1965) April 15, 2019
BAA Official Throws American Flag On The Ground During National Anthem Celebrating 1st American Boston Marathon Wheelchair Winner Since 1993 https://t.co/oVpUAfDLZc
— Stephenie McGrath (@SteffieMcGrath) April 15, 2019
@VBTheWise A Boston marathon official throws flag to the ground during ceremony of male wheelchair winner. What is wrong with these people and @WBZmarathon ignored it like nothing happened #Ignorance #AmericanPride #BostonMarathon
— crudejude73 (@crudejude73) April 15, 2019
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.