It had to happen at some point, the only surprise was it took this long. Just like it's surprising Northwestern is the only college team to publicly announce a "show of unity" following the National Anthem for Saturday's game, it's not surprising that Parkway High School in Louisiana would publicly announce that football players who do not stand for the Anthem are no longer welcome on the team. The only surprise is that they're the only one to make such an announcement (so far).
Principal Waylon Bates released a statement Thursday saying that any players who fail to comply with the school's directive to stand during the Anthem will have their playing time and/or their status on the roster revoked at the direction of head coach Neil May or Bates himself.
To: Student Athletes and Parents
The LHSAA (Louisiana High School Athletic Association) allows school principals to make decisions regarding student participation in the National Anthem while competing in athletic contests and games. Parkway High School requires student athletes to stand in a respectful manner throughout the National Anthem during any sporting event in which their team is participating. Failure to comply will result in loss of playing time and/or participation as directed by the head coach and principal. Continued failure to comply will result in removal from the team. Parkway High School is committed to creating a positive environment for sporting events that is free of disruption to the athletic contest or game.
Parkway High School
Bates's statement was preceded by a similar stance from his boss, Bossier City schools superintendent Scott Smith, stating, "It is a choice for students to participate in extracurricular activities, not a right, and we at Bossier Schools feel strongly that our teams and organizations should stand in unity to honor our nation’s military and veterans."
For what it's worth, Parkway's racial demographics are 68 percent white and 22 percent black, according to Start Class.