It doesn’t matter what race, religion, or creed of athlete you are, if you disrespect the National Anthem by violating team rules, you should be removed from the squad.
That’s exactly what happened with Rasool Samir, a member of the Garden City Community College basketball team in Kansas, who shot baskets during the playing of the anthem at a recent game.
Samir has stated he has never stood for the National Anthem due to religious reasons. Now, he finds himself kicked off of the team for a violation of team rules.
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) November 17, 2017
The school claims Samir violated team rules in actions he took after the event. Actions which may have stemmed from an on court altercation he had with a team booster.
The booster, identified as Jim Howard, wasn’t too thrilled about Samir’s disrespectful actions during the National Anthem and let him know about it.
Eventually the two had to be separated by a campus police officer.
“I’ve had enough of disrespecting our flag,” Howard told the Garden City Telegram. “I’ve been raising money for 32 years for this college, trying to help pay for scholarships for these kids. If they’re not going to respect our flag, then they need to get off of our campus and out of Garden City.
“I wanted him off the court, and I wanted him out of this gym. If you’re going to disrespect the flag, get out of here.”
Naturally, the ACLU has stepped in. The ‘A’ in ACLU used to stand for ‘American.’
In direct violation of his First Amendment rights, Rasool Samir was kicked off the basketball team at Garden City Community College for not observing the national anthem.
We’re demanding answers. https://t.co/XNXFBr18fo
— ACLU of Kansas (@aclukansas) November 15, 2017
If it was truly for a violation of team rules, however, the ACLU doesn’t have a case. They believe he was kicked off as a direct result of the National Anthem controversy.
“He refrained from participating in the national anthem because he is a Muslim and his faith prohibits acts of reverence to anything but God,” they wrote in a letter to the school.
Howard says if he didn’t want to honor the flag, he should have just sat his a** on the bench quietly.
“You should respect the flag. If you don’t respect the flag, just stay seated. Don’t make a big scene,” he said. “At least respect the people that paid for your scholarship to get you on this campus – like myself and everyone else in that gym.”
Howard says he’s received a lot of positive feedback from people in town for taking a stand.
“Everyone around town was patting me on my back and saying thank you,” he said.
If you’d like to say thanks to Howard for standing up for the National Anthem, do so in the comments section below!