Despite no ruling from NFL owners regarding national anthem protest punishments, the act of kneeling has rapidly diminished. Sure, some players still protest, but it’s definitely not as frequent as years past. Leave it up to a youth football game in Louisiana to heat up the controversy once again.
Before the Slidell Youth Football Association championship game, members of the Spartans team took a knee during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and ignited a social media frenzy when the photo circulated on Facebook from David Folse II of The Advocate.
Click HERE for a video.
This wasn’t a group of grown men and women who are old enough to vote. This was a group of 7-and-8-year-olds playing in a youth football game on a nice Sunday afternoon.
Needless to say, the SYFA, a private youth sports organization near New Orleans that receives $10,000 annually from the city, made sure to address what took place.
“SYFA is aware of the photo of one [of] our team’s that has been viewed and shared across social media of them kneeling during the National Anthem.
“Slidell Youth Football Association was not aware of this isolated situation prior to the start of the National Anthem. SYFA does not have a rule or by-law in place that tells someone to kneel or stand during the National Anthem. Moving forward we will address the National Anthem at the next General Membership meeting. We want it known that we are 100% Kids First and will not allow coaches to bring their political views into a child’s game.” — SYFA Board of Directors
As one could probably imagine, it caused quite the uproar on social media, and even with local city council members.
“If a coach or individual would use a youth sports team for his or her political agenda, that’s just wrong,” councilman Bill Borchert told The Advocate. “As a member of the group that deals with the city budget and uses some of that money to offset the league’s costs, I think we need to take a serious look and make sure that the values of the SYFA are in line with the values of the people we represent citywide.”
There’s no doubt this will be a hot-button topic at the next SYFA meeting, and it will be more than interesting to see if this ever happens again with a you team.