AN announcer at a high school football game allegedly told spectators that anyone who did not stand for the US national antherm should be shot.
“If you don’t want to stand for the National Anthem, you can line up over there by the fence and let our military personnel take a few shots at you since they’re taking shots for you,” said the announcer in the town of McKenzie, Alabama, said according to Denise Crowley-Whitfield, who posted the message on Facebook.
The McKenzie High School crowd — they were playing Houston County High School — went “crazy cheering” at the announcer’s comments Crowley-Whitfield wrote in the since-deleted post that remains on the Google cache and has gone viral across the US.
The announcer was Pastor Allen Joyner from the town’s Sweet Home Baptist Church, AL.com reported. The church said it stood by Joyner in a Facebook post that was live for about an hour before the entire account was deleted.
“What was said was taken out of context and misquoted several times over,” the church wrote online.
“For all of our members, remember the words of Matthew 5:38-39 and don’t try to retaliate or fight any of the negative comments.”
Matthew 5:38-39 reads “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”
Butler County Schools Superintendent Amy Bryan denounced Joyner’s message in a statement to AL.com.
“Patriotism should be a part of school events but threats of shooting people who aren’t patriotic, even in jest, have no place at a school,” she wrote.
“Threats of violence are a violation of school policy and certainly not condoned by the school board.”
The school board will convene next week and Bryan said any action against Joyner could be taken then.
The pastor’s comments come two weeks after San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for The Star-Spangled Banner during a preseason game against the San Diego
Chargers in San Diego.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Seattle Reign footballer Megan Rapinoe knelt during the pre-game anthem on September 4. Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall,Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters and four Miami Dolphins also staged protested at the national anthem.
On September 2, Ohio’s Brunswick High School student Rodney Axson became the first high school football player to kneel in solidarity with Kaepernick and has reportedly already received death threats in response to his protest.
During a press conference at the G-20 summit in China, President Obama said San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is exercising his constitutional right in protesting the national anthem and praised Kaepernick for prompting a national discussion about “real, legitimate issues.” Photo: Getty Images