Trump Honors Football Players Suspended for Carrying Pro-Police Flag


President Donald Trump honored two Ohio football players who were suspended from their team and then reinstated for carrying flags recognizing first responders on the field before a football game on Sept. 11.

At a rally in Swanton, Ohio, the Republican president called Brady Williams and Jarad Bentley of Little Miami High School to the stage to recognize them for their actions ahead of a football game on the anniversary of the terror attacks, WKYC-TV reported.

“I want to congratulate you. You’ve become famous,” Trump told the students.

“You’re doing great! And everyone out here loves you and appreciates you.”

He added, “Thank you for supporting the heroes in our law enforcement.”

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When Willams and Bentley were denied permission to carry flags onto the field before the game, they chose to do it anyway.

Bentley carried out a “thin red line” flag honoring firefighters, while Williams carried out a “thin blue line” flag to honor police officers:

Williams’ father is a police officer in the area and Bentley’s is a firefighter.

The students were suspended indefinitely from the team after Little Miami Superintendent Gregory Power said the flags were “political,” WKRC-TV reported.

Williams and Bentley have both been reinstated to the team after an investigation by the school’s officials.

Bobbie Grice, Little Miami school board president, told The Cincinnati Enquirer that the young men are back on active status.

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“The results show that there were no political motivations behind this display of support for first responders on 9/11, but there were stances of insubordination,” Grice said.

“Moving forward, Little Miami is returning the players to active status and this matter will be addressed as an Athletic Department Code of Conduct issue, with any potential consequences to be handled by coaching staff.”

Grice said the only flags that would be allowed on the field for the remainder of the season would be the American flag and the school’s spirit flag.

The story gained national attention after Power told WKRC that he suspended the two boys because “we can’t have students who decide to do something anyway after they’ve been told that they shouldn’t be doing it.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith