Little Miami football players get scholarships after being suspended for carrying Thin Blue, Red flags at game

The two students, on September 11, were told by the school districts to not bring the flags on the field, however, the pair did it anyway, leading to their suspension


                            Little Miami football players get scholarships after being suspended for carrying Thin Blue, Red flags at game
(Change.org)

Two high school football students from Ohio, who were briefly suspended from their team for carrying flags onto the field during a game, have reportedly been awarded scholarships. The Little Miami students, identified as Brady Williams and Jarad Bentley, on September 11, were told by the school districts to not bring flags on the field, however, the pair did it anyway, leading to their suspension from the football team.

A local non-profit group called "Holiday for Heroes," last week, on September 18, announced that it is awarding the two students a scholarship for their gesture, according to WJAC-TV.  The group, in a statement, said: "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 not yet clear who much the scholarships awarded to them will be worth. 

Williams, a sheriff's deputy's son, carried a 'Thin Blue Line flag,' while Bentley, son of a fireman, carried a 'Thin Red Line Flag' onto the field during a game to express their support for the first responders. The pair, however, was suspended for a brief period by the school because of their action. The Little Miami Board of Education, last week, said that it understood the students' desire to “show their support of our first responders on the anniversary of 9/11," however, because the pair did not obtain the necessary permission to carry the flags onto the field from school officials, they were suspended. 

The board, despite the students' "insubordination," stated that their actions were not politically motivated and overturned their suspension. The board, in a statement, said: "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."

Senior cornerback Brady Williams, when asked whether he was trying to make a political statement by taking the flag onto the field, said: "No. Not at all. I was just doing it to honor the people that lost their lives 19 years ago," WKRC reported. While Bentley told the outlet: "I was all for it. Because my dad is a firefighter, and if it had been him killed on 9/11, I would have wanted someone to do it for him."

Reports state that the boys had sought permission to carry the flags on the field before the game. School officials, however, denied them permission and warned the pair that there would be consequences if they defied the order. William told the outlet that he did not care about the order at the moment: "Listen. I don’t care what my consequences are. As long as my message gets across, I’ll be happy."

School's athletic director, days after the incident, announced their suspension. Superintendent Gregory Power told WKRC: "We can’t have students who decide to do something anyway after they’ve been told that they shouldn’t be doing it."

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