FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Fort Worth ISD has issued a policy regarding student athletes who wish to protest during the national anthem during high school football games and elsewhere this fall.
FWISD spokesperson Clint Bond issued the following statement on Thursday:
“In regards to student participation during the playing of the National Anthem prior to sporting events, or at any other time prior to, during, or after Fort Worth ISD activities, the District is strongly encouraging all students, whether on the field or in the stands, to respect and obey the law.
“We are encouraging our coaching staffs to discuss with their student-athletes what it means to obey the law. This is all a part of the process that is the mission of the Fort Worth ISD in preparing young people for success in college, career, and community leadership.”
CBS 11 reached out to Fort Worth ISD for clarification on what the district means by “obey the law.”
This was Bond’s emailed response:
“The literal meaning is to do what the case laws have outlined regarding your own personal activities, as well as the activities of others.”
CBS 11 reached back out to Bond with the question: will student-athletes be able to ‘take a knee’ during the anthem. He did not immediately respond.
President Donald Trump has been vocal at rallies and on Twitter, criticizing NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem. Trump has suggested players who do that should be fired.
The NFL and the players’ union have yet to announce a policy for this season regarding demonstrations during the anthem after the league initially ordered everyone to stand on the sideline when “The Star-Spangled Banner” is played, or remain in the locker room.
“The NFL has been engaged in constructive discussions with the NFL Players Association regarding the anthem and issues of equality and social justice that are of concern to many Americans,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email.
“While those discussions continue, the NFL has agreed to delay implementing or enforcing any club work rules that could result in players being disciplined for their conduct during the performance of the anthem.
“Meanwhile, there has been no change in the NFL’s policy regarding the national anthem. The anthem will continue to be played before every game, and all player and non-player personnel on the field at that time are expected to stand during the presentation of the flag and performance of the anthem. Personnel who do not wish to do so can choose to remain in the locker room.
“We remain committed to working with the players to identify solutions and to continue making progress on important social issues affecting our communities.”
In 2016, former San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the National Anthem in an effort to bring awareness to racial injustice. After the regular season, Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers when it appeared he would be released.