Suspension lifted for Ohio football players who carried police flags during 9/11 game

Two Little Miami High School football players carried flags that signaled support for law enforcement while running onto the field during a home game on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020. (Photo: Williams Family, WKRC via CNN) 

CINCINNATI, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio high school reversed the suspension of two football players who defied administrators by carrying flags that signal support for law enforcement at the start of a game.

A day after Ohio’s Little Miami High School told the players they would not be allowed to practice, the school reversed the suspension, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

In a statement released Tuesday, the school said its investigation showed, “there were no political motivations behind this display of support for first responders on 9/11, but there were stances (sic) of insubordination,” the newspaper reported.

The players' coaches will handle any further consequences, the school said.

Video shows the players led their teammates in running onto the field at the home game Friday, the 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, the newspaper reported.

The flag with the blue stripe signals support for the police, often expressed with the slogan, “Back the blue,” while the flag with the thin red line is connected to support for firefighters. The two players carried the flags despite being denied permission to do so when they asked in advance.

“While we understand these students’ desire to (sic) show their support of our first responders, they did not obtain permission from district officials," Little Miami Local Schools said in a statement to Fox19 on Monday. “Administrators must act when students break the rules.”

The school said a ceremony held before the game honored the people killed in the 9/11 attacks.

The superintendent, Gregory Power, told WKRC-TV he has received hate messages by email and voicemail since announcing the suspension of the two players.

“The only two flags that will come through the Little Miami football tunnel are the flag of the United States of America and the Little Miami spirit flag,” said Bobbie Grice, president of the Little Miami Local Schools board in a statement Tuesday.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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