High School Football Announcer Threatens Crowd: Stand For The Anthem Or ‘Line Up’ To Be Shot!
Flags are on the field at a football game in Alabama thanks to the wild, ignorant remarks of McKenzie High School sports announcer Pastor Allen Joyner of the Sweet Home Baptist Church—yellow flags, that is. Likely irked by the recent spread of national anthem protests initiated by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Joyner told a family-friendly crowd gathered for a sporting event that people who refuse to stand for the national anthem should be lined up and shot… or at the very least, “shot at.”
According to a Facebook post (now removed) by one member of the audience, Denise Crowley-Whitfield, Joyner announced to a cheering crowd:
“If you don’t want to stand for the national anthem, you can line up over there by the fence and let our military personnel take a few shots at you since they’re taking shots for you.”
A screen capture of that post has been saved for the public eye, courtesy of Al.com, and can be seen below:
Joyner’s statement almost certainly comes as a response to Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem due to the violent oppression of African Americans in the U.S., primarily in the form of (but not exclusive to) police violence—a personal direct action that has since begun to spread across the country, stirring debates on what it means to be patriotic in this day and age in America, especially for people of color.
Superintendent Amy Bryan of Butler County Schools reproached Joyner’s statement, saying:
“Patriotism should be a part of school events but threats of shooting people who aren’t patriotic, even in jest, have no place at a school. Threats of violence are a violation of school policy and certainly not condoned by the school board.”
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think before you speak… in front of a crowd
One would think Joyner is oblivious to the near constant bombardment of school shootings this country has endured for more than a decade to make such a comment. His comment also blatantly shows, ironically, a disrespect for American patriotism and the work U.S. soldiers do to allegedly provide freedom for all citizens of the U.S., as true freedom allows for dissent—a point numerous active military members have pointed out in their own support of Kaepernick’s right to take a knee during the national anthem.
While Sweet Home Baptist church backed Joyner’s authoritarian statement on its own Facebook page, it thought better of the decision and removed it’s supportive post within an hour.
With any luck, Joyner has served as football announcer for McKenzie High School for the last time. Perhaps then he’ll have enough free time to educate himself on the true meaning of freedom. Until then, he’ll just have to puff his chest and threaten to have those who choose to stand against injustice shot in the bathroom mirror.
What a glorious sight it would have been to see a majority of that audience stand up and walk over to that fence, awaiting their threatened fate in defiance. Considering the current state of the country, though, it would have been nice to see at least one.
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Dylan Hock is a writer, educator, and activist. He serves as a volunteer board member of The James Jackson Museum of African American History.