Two high school soccer players who were suspended earlier this month for waving Thin Blue Line flags during a game joined President Donald Trump onstage at a rally in Ohio.
Brady Williams and Jarad Bentley, seniors from Little Miami High School, were welcomed to the stage by a cheering crowd in Dayton on Monday night.
Trump called the teens ‘handsome men’ and said, ‘I want to congratulate you, you’re going to be famous.’
“They go to Hollywood, they become movie actors,” he told the audience.
Williams and Bentley, both dressed in suits and patriotic masks, seemed impressed and nervous when Trump asked them about their football season.
Trump laughed after one of the teens replied, “Could be better,” to which the president replied, “You’re doing great and everyone here loves you.”
Two high school students suspended for waving Thin Blue Line flags during a game earlier this month joined President Trump onstage Monday night at a rally in Ohio
Brady Williams and Jarad Bentley, seniors from Little Miami High School, were welcomed to the stage by a cheering crowd in Dayton. The teens seemed impressed when Trump said to them, ‘You’re doing great and everyone loves you’
Williams and Bentley made headlines last week after wearing Thin Blue Line and Thin Red Line flags on the pitch during a soccer game honoring first responders who died on 9/11.
The two students had requested permission to display the flags for the game on September 11, and were warned not to.
But they went ahead with the plan anyway, which led to their suspension from the team.
The school’s superintendent, Gregory Power, said he was concerned that some see the flags as symbols of a political standpoint.
Williams and Bentley made headlines last week after carrying Thin Blue Line and Thin Red Line flags onto the pitch at a soccer game honoring first responders who died on 9/11
Williams carried the Thin Blue Line flag, while Bentley carried the Thin Red Line flag
In an interview with WKRC-TV, Williams denied that the flags were intended as a political statement, saying, “Not at all. I just did it to honor the people who lost their lives nineteen years ago. ‘
The boys were later reinstated into the team after public outcry by the school board.
Williams, whose father is a police officer, said he wanted to honor all the agents who lost their lives in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks trying to save others.
Williams carried the Thin Blue Line flag, while Bentley carried the Thin Red Line flag.
“I was all for it,” Bentley said to the station. “Because my dad is a firefighter, and if it had been him on 9/11, I would have wanted someone to do it for him.”
Of the 2,977 victims who died in the September 11 attacks, 412 aid workers in New York City responded to the World Trade Center.
But Superintendent Power said he didn’t want to set a precedent for allowing flags on competitions, other than the school flag and the American flag.
“We didn’t want to put ourselves in a situation where another family might want to have a different flag come out of the tunnel, one that many other families might disagree with,” Power said.
The students asked for permission to display the flags before the match, and were warned not to
The superintendent said he did not want to set a precedent for allowing flags on competitions other than the school flag and the American flag
The two students were informed Monday of an indefinite suspension of the team, but on Tuesday the school board overturned the suspension and are allowed to return to active status.
In a message from the Little Miami Board of Education, President Bobbie Grice said the superintendent and administrators had completed their investigation.
“The results show that there were no political motivations behind this statement of support for first responders on 9/11, but there were views of insubordination.”
Grice said the district was disappointed that the incident overshadowed the scheduled commemorations for the game.
‘The district has an excellent relationship with our local police and fire brigade. In fact, Friday night’s Patriot Night program included a script that recognized emergency responders, information about what happened on 9/11, a poem in honor of those who sacrificed their lives, and a memorial ceremony with a moment of silence, ‘he said.
“We regret that such a solemn moment was somehow lost in this event.”