Debate over national anthem kneeling trickles down to high school players

Did any players kneel for anthem during Friday night high school football?

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The debate over kneeling during the national anthem gives high school students an opportunity to join the conversation.

Today is the first Friday since President Donald Trump made his remarks about the issue concerning the NFL.

Last year, several high school students joined the protest by taking a knee at their football games. But today at Falcon Field, neither Ben Franklin nor Thomas Jefferson players kneeled during the anthem.

On the national level, the protest has been met with both backlash and praise.

We caught up with the father of the young woman who sang the national anthem before tonight's game. He had mixed feelings about the issue, especially on this special day for his family.

"We understand that there are a lot of inequities and inequalities in the country that need to be addressed, but disrespecting the flag and the national anthem is something that is only going to alienate the very people anybody protesting these issues would want to befriend," said parent Mark Rolfes.

Marjorie Esman with the Louisiana ACLU said everyone - including high school players - should be allowed to express their opinions peacefully, and those opinions should be discussed openly.

"If you are punished for exercising your fundamental constitutional right, you're in the right and your school is in the wrong but at the end of the day if children are frayed to suffer the consequences you can't fault them for that," Esman said.

Staying out of the controversy completely happened when John Curtis and Warren Easton met Friday night as both teams stayed off the field during the national anthem.

Fox 8 went to several games in our area. All of the players stood during the Anthem.

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