High schoolknee-jerkcopycats

Colin Kaepernick, in addition to his shameful disrespect and cowardly “silent protest” against the American flag and America in general, can now boast of contributing to the immature rebelliousness of a minor to his resume.

Kaepernick’s recent actions, perfectly protected by the U.S. Constitution but which brings a whole new definition to the term knee-jerk, has been extended throughout the sports world by copycats who apparently aren’t creative enough to come up with their own mode of “silent protest” and aren’t well-spoken enough to actually use their unique platforms to verbalize that protest.

But if you think it’s only at the professional level that Kaepernick’s take-a-knee actions have spread, you would be wrong.

And if you think it’s only at the collegiate level that Kaepernick’s pitiful display has spread, you’d again be wrong.

And if you think it’s only at high-schools outside of North Carolina that Kaepernick’s unsportsmanlike action has spread, you’d once again be wrong.

And if you think it’s not within the Four County Conference that Kaepernick’s civil disorder has found its way … well, you’re wrong.

On Saturday night, at The Castle in Dublin, the West Bladen JROTC brought the American and North Caroline flags to the 50-yard-line and, as the National Anthem was played, numerous visiting players from Union High took a knee.

And their coaches allowed it.

At the other end of the field, the Knights players noticed. Without any finger-pointing or negative noise aimed at the Union players, West Bladen’s youngsters instead broke out of their end zone, crashed through the cheerleaders’ banner and headed for their sideline — all while being led by a player carrying the American flag.

That’s mature. That’s classy. That’s a positive exclamation.

We think the fact that the Union coaching staff allowed their players to show disrespect to the West Bladen JROTC, the American flag and the country is a clear example of how adults who are supposed to teach these 16- and 17-year-olds important things like respect, team unity and sportsmanship are sadly failing at their jobs as coaches and teachers.

A West Bladen fan on Friday night posed the question of why the officials didn’t throw a pre-game flag for unsportsmanlike conduct — and we would have agreed completely had that happened.

After the game, we told the Union coach face-to-face without letting his players hear that we thought the incident was disrespectful. Instead of letting the comment go or explaining his disagreement with it, he chose to share the comment with his coaches and players — some of whom immediately heaped on the classlessness of the program by taunting.

We’re not surprised. It’s what those who choose to make public displays of protest often do when they are met with disagreement. Their attitude is “my opinion is unassailable, yours is not.”

Regardless of the fact that Union won the game, as far as we are concerned, in the arena of life lessons, West Bladen was the real winner.



“You don’t have to be disrespectful and insult others simply to hold your own ground. If you do, that shows how shaky your own position is.” (unknown)

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