Week three wrap-enquirer sports writers Shelby Dermer and Alex Harrison break down the best games from week 3 prep football action in Cincinnati.
Before Little Miami’s game on September 11, cornerback Brady Williams and linebacker Jared Bentley ran on the field with these flags.
According to thinbluelineusa.com, the thin blue line flag shows support for the country’s police authorities. Similarly, the red thin line flag shows support for the country’s firefighters.
In a statement from the Little Miami Board of Education obtained by The enquirer, Little Miami School Board President Bobbie Grice said the players have returned to active status after they were initially suspended from the team.
“The results show that there were no political motives behind this display of support for first responders on 9/11, but there were attitudes to insubordination,” Grice said. “Going forward, Little Miami will return players to active status, and this case will be treated as a matter of athletic code of conduct with any implications to be addressed by the coaching staff.”
More: Little Miami footballers suspended for carrying ‘thin blue line’, ‘thin red line’ flag on pitch
More: What do ‘Thin Blue Line’ and ‘Thin Red Line’ flags mean?
After Friday night’s match, Little Miami Superintendent Gregory Power and the school board conducted an investigation. Williams and Bentley, who are said to be the sons of a police officer and a firefighter respectively, were told not to run in the field with these flags before the match, but did so anyway.
Grice said the only flags coming through the tunnel for the rest of the season will be the United States flag and the Little Miami spirit flag.
“Little Miami Local Schools is sad to see this story take such a negative turn,” Grice said. “The district has an excellent relationship with our local police and fire agencies.”
After Little Miami originally suspended Williams and Bentley, a change.org petition to revoke the suspensions received 19,512 signatures.
“(Jared) and Brady took a thin blue and red striped flag out into the field after being told not to do so,” the petition said. “The school suspended them indefinitely to support their fallen heroes (sic). Sign this petition to help suspend the 2 student-athletes who have lost their senior season.”
According to the Ohio School Report Cards, the District of Little Miami has 4,712 students. Eight to nine percent of these students (4,206) are white, 1.9 percent of students (92) are black, and 4.3 percent percent of students (200) are multiracial.
Donald Trump Jr. responded to the initial suspensions on Twitter, saying “It is outrageous that these students were punished for celebrating our amazing police officers. They really showed the courage to stand up for what they thought was right. ”
Little Miami is ready to play at Loveland on Friday, September 18, Loveland Athletic Director Brian Conatser confirmed. The Eastern Cincinnati Conference website shows it as exposed. Loveland’s game with Milford last week was postponed because opponent Milford had an athlete who tested positive for COVID.
Josh Johns, a small alum from Miami, said he is still planning some form of support for the two players at the next home game, on September 25th. He said he elaborated on the details but believes it is necessary that incident had nothing to do with politics.
“Basically, I felt the punishment didn’t fit the crime,” Johns said. “Brady’s father is a police officer, Jarad’s father is a firefighter, and this was intended in honor of the first responders on the anniversary of 9/11. If this was an online comment, I would say it in capital letters: This was not political. “