Professional football players have certainly reached rock-bottom when small town high school players are putting them to shame.
That’s exactly what happened not long ago, when a student named Daniel Hayner realized the stadium his team was visiting didn’t have an American flag… and he took matters into his own hands.
The Mechanicville High School Red Raiders football team often bring a flag with them when they travel to away games. Usually, the opposing team has the stars and stripes ready to go for the anthem, but late last year, somebody dropped the ball.
The Catholic Central High School football stadium reportedly forgot to have an American flag displayed for the anthem, but that didn’t stop the young Hayner from stepping up.
“All the stuff that’s happening now with the flag and stuff… I didn’t know if it was like that or where (the flag) was,” the student explained.
Wasting no time, he retrieved his team’s American flag from the bus and ran onto the field.
“I went over and stood at the end of our line (with the flag) and they were like, ‘No, stand in the middle of the field.’ so I went out in the middle of the field and stood there,” he recalled.
Unlike the recent NFL protests, the absence of an American flag at the stadium turned out to be an innocent mistake.
“The school did not have a flag prepared in a timely manner,” the principal of the school explained in a statement. “As a principal I take full responsibility for that and we apologize if anyone was offended.”
For the quick-thinking student Daniel Hayner, the incident became a way to remind citizens of what patriotism truly looks like.
“It was just a spontaneous action from a boy from a small town that just had basically a notion that when you come from a community like this and the things that we try to instill upon them that there’s family, there’s community and our nation, and our country, and that really means a lot to him,” the Red Raiders athletic director said.
“People die to protect their country and for the flag,” Hayner himself added. “People are disrespecting it all the time. It needs respect for the people who served the country and respect it.”
While spoiled NFL players continue to insult the country by refusing to stand for the national anthem, heartland Americans like Hayner are taking a very different approach… and they’re the ones who deserve our appreciation.
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