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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Wed Sep 27, 2017, 02:08pm
Lighten up, Francis.
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,396
Response to player protests

With all of the attention on player protests during the national anthem recently, have you ever had to deal with this at a game? What would you do, if anything, if a player (or team) took a knee during the anthem?

This happened in my area last season and the school stopped playing the anthem before games.

I've had officials tell me that if a team took a knee, they would refuse to officiate the game and leave the venue.

So, has this happened in one of your games? What would/did you do in such a situation?
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Old Wed Sep 27, 2017, 02:25pm
Courageous When Prudent
 
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Location: Hampton Roads, VA
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I believe we had this conversation last year.

I would do absolutely nothing in regards to the player. It's none of my (our) business.

If an official left, I would consider him/her unprofessional and probably wouldn't work with that official again.

If an official informed his/her assignor that the he/she doesn't want to work games involving schools that make such gestures, I would respect that.
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Last edited by Raymond; Wed Sep 27, 2017 at 10:36pm.
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Old Wed Sep 27, 2017, 03:02pm
TODO: creative title here
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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It's absolutely none of my business, no matter what my personal feelings on the subject might or might not be.

I would do absolutely nothing.

But if I had a partner who refused to officiate the game based on that action, that person be immediately added to my "do not work with under any circumstances" list (which currently only has 2 members).
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Old Wed Sep 27, 2017, 03:31pm
Official Forum Member
 
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Location: Brooklyn Park MN
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I had a BV team twice last year that went back into the locker room for the National Anthem. None of my business. I would not consider it professional if an Official refused to work the game. However an Official always would have the option not to work a game for that team in the future.
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Old Wed Sep 27, 2017, 05:14pm
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Ignore it. Unless you all do your anthem lineups differently, they wouldnt be in my eyeline to see anyway and I'm not looking for it.
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Old Wed Sep 27, 2017, 06:11pm
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Billy Mac ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jTheUmp View Post
... my "do not work with under any circumstances" list (which currently only has 2 members).
Me, and who else?
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Old Wed Sep 27, 2017, 08:02pm
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Posts: 1,887
This is the memo that all SCHSL officials got last year regarding officials participating in the protests.

If a player does this I can’t imagine I’d get involved, and if another official got involved in any way, including walking out, I would never see him/her again. I live in the most conservative region of a conservative state, so I really can’t imagine this being an issue at most of the schools I go to. But, I’ve been wrong before.

MEMO Wednesday, October 26, 2016

To SCHSL Certified Officials,
I hope that each of you are doing well and enjoying the slight change in temperatures across our beautiful state. Traditionally, officials have been expected to stand for the playing of the National Anthem and address the American flag, also referred to as “Old Glory.” The expectations of the SCHSL and member schools are that SCHSL officials will continue to honor this tradition. However, with the recent social protests that are occurring during the National Anthem throughout our country, we realize there may be officials who may be considering this action during a SCHSL athletic event.
Therefore, if any official plans to make a political or social statement (words or actions) while on an assignment for one of our contests, he/she must contact our office in writing (email) no later than two days before the date of the scheduled contest so I may notify the school of your intent. Once the school has been notified of the planned action(s) to be taken by the official (s), the school will advise our office if they are able to provide adequate security. If the school decides the proposed action(s) by the official(s) risks crew or public safety, the official will be removed from the game as a precaution and we will re-assign the position to another official.
By this action, both First Amendment rights and safety issues are being protected and addressed. If you wish to share feedback on this topic, please do not hesitate to contact the SCHSL office immediately.
“The South Carolina High School League has been in existence for over 100 years…all while displaying a total respect and admiration to this country and the people who make it unique, generous and unbreakable. ALL people make the United States of America a family of many cultures and beliefs. It is the hope of the SCHSL that we continue to support one another while being proud Americans working as One Team. Athletics are meant to bring us together and highlight our strengths, skills and for lack of a better term, our hopes and dreams. We are truly better together,” states SCHSL Commissioner Jerome Singleton.
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Old Wed Sep 27, 2017, 08:47pm
TODO: creative title here
 
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Location: Minneapolis, MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyMac View Post
Me, and who else?
The first one was a football official who threatened to fight a coach in the parking lot after a 9th grade (and yes, it was the official who issued the threat).

The second one was a baseball umpire who hung me out to dry on a potential third-strike checked swing (he was BU) because is back was turned and he "was talking to the first-base coach about the Lord" (his words). Turned what would've possibly been a 1-2-3 inning into 3 runs scored and a coach ejection.
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Old Wed Sep 27, 2017, 09:43pm
Official Forum Member
 
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Posts: 1,278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrapper1 View Post
With all of the attention on player protests during the national anthem recently, have you ever had to deal with this at a game? What would you do, if anything, if a player (or team) took a knee during the anthem?

This happened in my area last season and the school stopped playing the anthem before games.

I've had officials tell me that if a team took a knee, they would refuse to officiate the game and leave the venue.

So, has this happened in one of your games? What would/did you do in such a situation?
Here's a couple of random thoughts....

1) Free speech generally protects an individual from government interference with that speech. Where i am the overwhelming majority of schools are public school and are part of the government. While schools can get involved with free speech issues more than other governments, i am contracted by that entity and will not do anything that will expand or detract from my contractual responsibilities or make the situation worse because I am a contractor.

2) Although i might disagree with the tactics... and although what I see as disrespect pains me and disturbs me and .. I wonder how many many of these individuals truly understand what is means to be free or if they understand how privileged they are compared to the rest of the world....

but at the end of the day I know that as someone who has served in the oldest military organization in the country for nearly 39 years, someone who has taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution, an oath that pledges even my life in its defense that in part its been me that has answered the call of this country to ensure that they have the ability to protest in this manner.

Are there problems with the country? Yep... are we perfect? Nope! But we have it better than many across the world. Much of the controversy is generated because we have little respect for each other... if we worked on respect for each other.... if we showed respect for the flag and our respected institutions we may be able to come together to resolve our differences.

I am a defender of of their peaceful right to protest no matter how much it pains me.
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Old Thu Sep 28, 2017, 07:16am
Lighten up, Francis.
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,396
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond View Post

I would do absolutely nothing in regards to the player. It's none of my (our) business.

If an official left, I would consider him/her unprofessional and probably wouldn't work with that official again.

If an official informed his/her assignor that the he/she doesn't want to work games involving schools that make such gestures, I would respect that.
Thanks to everybody who replied. Ray's reply was first and pretty much mirrors my own thoughts exactly.
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old Thu Sep 28, 2017, 09:21am
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Posts: 536
It seems inevitable that with so many officials all over the country at many different levels that somebody somewhere in stripes will take a knee or not come out for the anthem. I am split on how to feel about this. I am glad that all of the attention from these protests are sort of bringing to light the unfair treatment of POC by society as a whole, and in particular by those police departments. If you can't see the issues that they are highlighting, you are either very dense or purposely ignoring the incidents that happen. I think that those that see this as protesting the anthem or flag are missing the mark. I saw a great parallel drawn between this and Rosa Parks indicating that thinking these guys are protesting the flag and anthem is like saying Rosa was protesting public transportation. I think an official making this symbolic gesture would renew the attention that the issue has received over the past week or so and maybe help move our society in a better direction as we acknowledge these issues and try to remedy them.

On the other hand, I think that we are already a group that not many people like or have sympathy for during the game. I think if/when an official does this, he or she is likely to have a very rough game and probably a tough year due to the criticism that they would draw. I wouldn't want to be on that crew. With that being said, I would have a lot of respect for that person if they believe in this issue so much as to put their profession on the line. My hope is that if/when this person does it, they are doing it because they believe in the cause and not to be on the front page of ESPN. I'm fairly certain that the person would probably not be officiating next year, and would probably be taken off of assignments as well.

Those are my thoughts and ideas on how I would handle it.
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Old Thu Sep 28, 2017, 09:29am
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Kelvin,
Thank you for your service.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old Thu Sep 28, 2017, 10:20am
Do not give a damn!!
 
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I have been in several games where people did not celebrate the Anthem in several different ways. For one many people in certain places do not stand or put their hand over their heart. So if I got upset every time someone did not do something they were supposed to based on the standards of this practice, then I would have done something long time ago. Now I have been involved in games where some kind of "protest" has taken place in both football and basketball.

My father is buried in a Veteran Cemetary and I grew up respecting this flag, but I had a mother that was in the Civil Rights Movement where she was in a lawsuit for discrimination when they segregated a school in Florida. So I want this country to uphold the standards they have set. And protest is supposed to be uncomfortable and supposed to draw attention.

I have a political position on many things. If you are like some here you know that if you see my page, I can be very political. But it is not my place to tell those what to do personally with their politics outside of the game. I am also a person that officiated both a football and basketball game at a school whose mascot was the "Rebel Flag" and as an African-American who is deeply offended by that flag, I said nothing in my role as an official. I did my job and moved on. And that alone is much more offensive than some kneeling during the Anthem.

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Old Thu Sep 28, 2017, 11:00am
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Posts: 1,887
I respect protesters' message even if I don't agree with it or I don't agree with the method.

But what I think people get wrong is the scope to which the First Amendment applies. It protects no right to free speech on your employer's dime. It also definitely protects no right to free speech in your capacity as an independent contractor.

Officials that choose to do this have no "rights" to assert if an assigner shows them the door. All this talk I hear about "rights" on social media and television–it's just not true in many cases.
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Old Thu Sep 28, 2017, 11:23am
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Location: Vancouver, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelvin green View Post
Here's a couple of random thoughts....

1) Free speech generally protects an individual from government interference with that speech. Where i am the overwhelming majority of schools are public school and are part of the government. While schools can get involved with free speech issues more than other governments, i am contracted by that entity and will not do anything that will expand or detract from my contractual responsibilities or make the situation worse because I am a contractor.

2) Although i might disagree with the tactics... and although what I see as disrespect pains me and disturbs me and .. I wonder how many many of these individuals truly understand what is means to be free or if they understand how privileged they are compared to the rest of the world....

but at the end of the day I know that as someone who has served in the oldest military organization in the country for nearly 39 years, someone who has taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution, an oath that pledges even my life in its defense that in part its been me that has answered the call of this country to ensure that they have the ability to protest in this manner.

Are there problems with the country? Yep... are we perfect? Nope! But we have it better than many across the world. Much of the controversy is generated because we have little respect for each other... if we worked on respect for each other.... if we showed respect for the flag and our respected institutions we may be able to come together to resolve our differences.

I am a defender of of their peaceful right to protest no matter how much it pains me.
Thank you for your service! Saying thanks isn't nearly enough...
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