After being suspended from their football team for a 9/11 tribute, two Ohio football players are being lauded as “true patriots”. A local non-profit is awarding the high school students college scholarships for their display.
Little Miami High School suspended players Brady Williams and Jarad Bentley for their tribute. The two carried “Thin Blue Line” and “Thin Red Line” flags onto the field on Sept. 11 to honor fallen first responders during the 9/11 attacks.
The school had forbade them from carrying the flags onto the field. When school refused to give permission, the two football players continued with their tribute anyways. Now Holiday for Heroes, a local non-profit, is awarding Williams and Bentley a scholarship, according to WJAC-TV. The organization offers scholarships and financial aid to the families of military members and first responders.
“Brady and Jarad are true PATRIOTS, they did something last Friday that showed they are far beyond their years,” the group said. “These men stood up for a cause they believe in. As they took the field with flags in hand it reminded us how we felt 19 years ago, heartbroken yet strong and united.”
The school board reinstated the two high school students to the football team.
Additionally, the school board reinstated both players after an investigation and an out-showing of public support. The board found neither player had a political motivation for their tribute, something Williams confirmed when asked in an interview.
“No. Not at all. I was just doing it to honor the people that lost their lives 19 years ago,” Williams told Local 12.
Williams, who father is a police officer, held the Thin Blue Line flag at the game. He told the outlet he wanted to honor cops who died trying to save others during the attacks. His fellow football player Jarad Bentley, who’s father is a firefighter, carried a Thin Red Line flag.
“I was all for it,” Bentley said. “Because my dad is a firefighter, and if it had been him killed on 9/11, I would have wanted someone to do it for him.”
Another school district in Ohio recently banned Thin Blue Line flags at football games.
[H/T: Fox News]