Two Texas high school football players have been kicked off the team for protesting during the national anthem on Friday.
Cedric Ingram-Lewis raised a fist while his cousin, Larry McCullough kneeled. They said that as soon as the anthem ended the coach at Victory & Praise Christian Academy told them to take off their uniforms because they were no longer part of the team.
“He told us that disrespect will not be tolerated,” Ingram-Lewis said.
Coach Ronnie Mitchem is a former Marine and pastor and had warned players that they were not permitted to kneel during the anthem.
Ingram-Lewis wasn’t having it. He was determined to protest and announced it on social media. His mother, Rhonda Brady, supports the students’ decision to protest and thinks the coach handled things poorly.
“I’m definitely going to have a conversation because I don’t like the way that was handled,” Brady said.
Still, she doesn’t want the boys to be on that team going forward.
“I don’t want them back on the team. A man with integrity and morals and ethics and who truly lives by that wouldn’t have done anything like that,” she stated.
“Actions speak louder than words. So, for him to do what he did, that really spoke volumes and I don’t want my kids or my nephew to be around a man with no integrity.”
Mitchem has said he stands against kneeling because he believes it’s offensive to veterans.
“That was my point of view,” Mitchem said. “Like I said, I’m a former Marine. That just doesn’t fly and they knew that. I don’t have any problem with those young men. We’ve had a good relationship. They chose to do that and they had to pay for the consequences,” Mitchem told the Chronicle.