Many high school and college athletes have picked up the viral National Anthem protests and followed the lead of a few professionals. Their disrespectful acts make many uncomfortable. Yet there’s another side to this story.
Take the example set by this high school football player from Troy, New York. Daniel Hayner was suited up for his football game on Friday when he noticed their was not an American flag at the game. His solution to the problem was ingenious.
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Hayner is a lineman for Mechanicville High School. As he was standing with his team for the national anthem before a game against Catholic High, he noticed that Catholic had no American flag at their stadium.
There would be no flag to face during the National Anthem. So Hayner stepped up.
“All the stuff that’s happening now with the flag and stuff, so I didn’t know if it was like that or where it was,” Hayner said.
The Mechanicville team travels with a flag, so Hayner retrieved it and held it high in the middle of the field. The photo of Hayner holding the flag was shared on social media and has quickly gone viral. With so many upset about the disrespect shown to the flag, Hayner is seen as hope for the next generation.
“People die to protect their country and for the flag. People disrespecting it all the time,” Hayner said. “It needs respect and for the people who served the country and respect it.”
As for Catholic High’s missing flag, the principal of the school said that they had recently finished renovations of the stadium and hadn’t replaced the flag. It was an unfortunate oversight, and not a political statement.
“The school did not have a flag prepared in a timely manner. As a principal, I take responsibility for that and we apologize if anyone was offended.”