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‘We all need to stand up for America’: Injured former football player stands for the national anthem

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"Wesley, he's worked hard, he's lost his leg and he had a right to sit down, but now God is giving him the strength to stand up."

Image source: WPDE-TV

A former high school football player who was seriously injured in an accident three years ago shocked friends and family by standing for the national anthem during a recent football game, according to WPDE-TV.

Wesley Baker of Conway, South Carolina, was walking down the highway in July 2013 when he was hit by a truck. Baker’s mother, Debra Phipps, told WPDE that her son almost died. He survived, but lost one of his legs and suffered brain damage.


Since his accident, Baker has attended games but has been unable to stand during the national anthem — until Friday.

"It feels like a dream,” Phipps said. “I've asked God for three years ... when his accident took place I said, 'God, please let my son walk again and talk again,' and day by day, he's shown me miracles."

Baker’s uncle Gary Smith told WPDE that his nephew has “reached so many milestones since the accident and this is just another step towards him walking across that [football] field."

“We knew that one day we were going to stand beside him and watch these ball games, and we know that one day he's going to walk up these bleachers with us. There is no doubt in our mind," he said.


Phipps said that, at a time when some football players are choosing to kneel in protest during the national anthem, she wanted people to see her son standing.

"Wesley, he's worked hard, he's lost his leg and he had a right to sit down, but now God is giving him the strength to stand up, and we all need to stand up for America," she said.

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