A high school football player from Nevada was kicked off the team and placed on disciplinary contract at school after protesting during the national anthem at an assembly to honor veterans.
Dylan Bruton stayed seated at the back of the hall during the Star Spangled Banner on Veterans Day, KTNV reported.
“I didn’t think anyone saw me,” he told KTNV.
But afterward, the school said Dylan had displayed unbecoming behavior. In addition to the other disciplinary measures, he was ordered to write an essay on a topic to be specified and address a letter of apology to the veterans present.
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“It’s very emotional and I’m trying to be strong,” added Heather, Dylan’s mother.
Heather decided to withdraw Dylan from the school, a prodigious Catholic private school, and enroll him at another institution.
School officials refused to comment on Dylan’s specific case, but released a statement:
Bishop Gorman takes pride in the character development of its students. Specifically, the virtues of leadership, excellence, and accountability are emphasized. As a result, students are expected to demonstrate respect at all times, including to those who have served their country on the very day that honors their sacrifice.
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Dylan explained he was particularly emotional on the day he protested because his grandfather, who was a veteran, had died just days earlier.
Dylan added that he was partly inspired by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who earlier this year initiated a wave of protests by kneeling during the national anthem.
Protests have continued in the NFL each week. According to ESPN, two other 49ers players joined Kaepernick in kneeling prior to their game against the New England Patriots in week 11.
Dylan alleged the school became politicized during the presidential election campaign, with political signs being put up.
“They were saying things like, we got our country back,” he said.
He noted that this made him and some friends feel uncomfortable.
He added he was speaking out because he hoped the school would change.
“I wish they would be willing to listen and have some compassion,” said Dylan.