Two high school football players in Texas learned a hard lesson Friday after they protested the national anthem before a school game.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Cedric Ingram-Lewis and his cousin Larry McCullough were kicked off the football team at Victory & Praise Christian Academy after they protested during the anthem on Friday. Ingram-Lewis raised his fist in protest, while McCullough kneeled.
Cedric Ingram-Lewis & Larry McCullough were kicked off of their football team last night. Cedric raised a fist. Lar… https://t.co/EhEVrNGyne— Shaun King (@Shaun King) 1506799890.0
Who made the decision to dismiss them?
Directly following the anthem, their head coach, Ronnie Mitchem, told the sophomore and senior players to take off their jerseys and immediately dismissed them from the team. The Chronicle noted that Mitchem is a former Marine and a pastor.
Why did they get dismissed?
Ingram-Lewis explained after the protest that Mitchem had told the team no protests would be "tolerated."
Mitchem, however, told the Chronicle his two players left him with no choice, and explained he thought he had a deal with his players that none would protest. He 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 said he supported the players and their protest, but not the method or place. Instead, he thought the players could have kneeled after scoring a touchdown or passed out fliers about their plight.
What did the parents think?
Rhonda Brady, Ingram-Lewis' mother and McCullough's aunt, told the Chronicle she supported her son and nephew, but explained the coach's swift decision was perplexing.
She said: "I'm definitely going to have a conversation because I don't like the way that that was handled. But 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. 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."