Texas Football Coach Dismisses Players Who Protested National Anthem
A former Marine now coaching football at a Christian school in Crosby, Texas kicked two players off his team Friday night after one took a knee for the National Anthem and the other raised his fist in protest.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Victory & Praise Christian Academy coach Ronnie Mitchem dismissed cousins Cedric Ingram-Lewis and Larry McCullough for their actions while on the sideline.
Mitchem said he supported the pair's right to protest, but asked that they do it another way, such as kneeling after a touchdown or passing out literature about their cause. He believed they'd come to an understanding. When the pair decided to protest the Anthem instead, he had them take off their uniforms, hand them over, then walk off the field.
Lewis' mother, Rhonda Brady, told the Chronicle she believes Mitchem's actions were "out of line" and called him "a man with no integrity."
However, Brady's nephew acknowledges that he went against Mitchem's wishes. As for Mitchem, he stands by his decision and says the boys' actions were disrespectful to veterans.
"That was my point of view," Mitchem told the Chronicle. "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."