A group of parents in Lansing, Michigan is furious after the Catholic Diocese doubled down on a policy banning any student athlete who takes a knee during the national anthem.
The controversy started last fall when four football players at Lansing Catholic High School were benched after taking a knee during the Star-Spangled Banner.
“It’s a racist policy,” parent Michael Lynn Jr. told the Lansing State Journal. “If they don’t remove the policy then there’s no healing.”
More than 150 people marched on the headquarters of the Catholic Diocese of Lansing on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to protest the policy.
“This is a difficult issue and we respect anyone fighting for social justice. At the same time, in our Catholic schools, we have always asked students to stand for the anthem and pledge,” spokesman Michael Diebold told the newspaper.
In other words, if you want to play sports at a Catholic school, student athletes must be willing to follow the rules.
“We make sacrifices in order to send our children to Catholic schools – to parochial schools, like everybody else,” parent Rovonya Velasquqez told the newspaper. “Why should we have to leave? I didn’t pay for racism.”
Last December, the Diocese sent a letter to parents explaining that sporting events were not an appropriate venue to conduct a protest.
“In the event that a student athlete does not stand for the anthem that student will not play in the game,” the letter read.
It’s nice to know that concepts like God and Country still matter to the Catholic Diocese of Lansing, Michigan.