If we could give Coach Ronnie Mitchem of Victory & Praise Christian Academy a medal, we surely would. Because at a time when our national character is coming under assault by leftist, anti-American forces, he made damn sure that it wouldn’t infect his team in HIS school in HIS city. And that’s all any patriot can do in these turbulent times.
The trouble started when two football players – Cedric Ingram-Lewis and Larry McCullough – knelt for the national anthem on Friday night just before V&P’s game with Providence Classical. The players carried out their protest…and then they got some bad news. Right after the anthem, Coach Mitchem approached the teens, told them to remove their uniforms, and kicked them off the team. Mitchem, a former Marine, was not about to stand by and watch his players disrespect the country he signed up to serve.
From the Houston Chronicle:
Ingram-Lewis, a sophomore, said the topic of protesting had come up in the locker room before and his cousin McCullough, a senior, even announced he would kneel via social media. The coach had told players he did not want anyone to kneel, citing his service in the military.
“He told us that disrespect will not be tolerated,” Lewis said, recalling the moments after the anthem ended. “He told us to take off our uniform and leave it there.”
Lewis’ mother Rhonda Brady supported her son and nephew being inspired to protest, saying it was completely their decision.
She was surprised by the coach’s reaction, however, deeming it out of line.
“I’m definitely going to have a conversation because I don’t like the way that that was handled,” Brady said. “But I don’t want them back on the team. A man with integrity and morals and ethics and who truly lives by that wouldn’t have done anything like that.
“Actions speak louder than words. So, for him to do what he did, that really spoke volumes and I don’t want my kids or my nephew to be around a man with no integrity.”
Well, if you ever needed a reminder that words like “integrity” have lost their meaning in 21st century America, this woman’s comments are enough to do the trick. Exactly how is the coach – who did what he said he was going to do – lacking in “integrity?” That’s the very MEANING of integrity, you idiot.
What’s fascinating is that Mitchem told the players that he supported their right to protest. He simply told them that they should find a way to do it that didn’t include disrespecting the flag.
“That was my point of view,” Mitchem told the Chronicle. “Like I said, I’m a former Marine. That just doesn’t fly and they knew that. I don’t have any problem with those young men. We’ve had a good relationship. They chose to do that and they had to pay for the consequences.”
Beautifully said. We hope there are more coaches, officials, and PARENTS like Mitchem out there who will demonstrate to the young people in their communities that there are better role models in the world than the thugs in the NFL.