Principal Defends Basketball Players' Anthem Kneeling

Paul Steinbach Headshot

Three members of the Chandler (Ariz.) High School boys' basketball team have been taking a knee during the national anthem all season, according to school principal Larry Rother, who defended the players' right to do so.

Rother, who's brother Jonathan is the team's head coach, told The Arizona Republic, "Chandler High has a long tradition of patriotism and an equally long tradition of supporting students' First Amendment rights to free speech and expression."

Rother didn't explain what the the players are trying to express by choosing to kneel and bow their heads during the anthem. "Schools, and our students, are not immune from the political climate in our country," he said. "It is important that as school administrators, coaches and teachers, we find a balance between encouraging students to be informed consumers of the world around them while respecting and honoring the views of our community."

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