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Youth Players Kneeling during NA?


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Has anyone had the youth players kneel during the NA at the game during lineups? If so, what did you think, did you address it, or handle it otherwise? Is it our place to do anything? TIA :-)

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The OP calls out "youth players".  Before I come back to this, I know how I should react, but I honestly don't know unless the situation presented itself.  Now, for the purpose of my post, "youth

I haven't had it happen it yet.  That being said, a) I have no idea what my state says about it, because b) I have no personal issue with it, and am a big fan of the First Amendment. I realize th

I'm waking up too

I haven't had it happen it yet.  That being said, a) I have no idea what my state says about it, because b) I have no personal issue with it, and am a big fan of the First Amendment.

I realize that might be an unpopular stance.  I'm okay with that.

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I was raised and trained that for umpires and officials, the administration and management of the game from start to finish should never be political. Arenas, stadiums, ballparks, fields, rinks, etc. and the contests that occur there are one of the final bastions that bind us as human beings. Umpires and game officials have a responsibility to conduct themselves apolitically on the fields of play we work.

In 1996, in the wake of Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf's refusal to stand during the National Anthem, the NBA established specific rules in either their rulebook or CBA which now require all players and team personnel to stand during the National Anthem unless a medical or physical condition prevents them from doing so.

If the leagues we work want to establish National Anthem protocols, rules, etc. that is, of course, their choice and we are obligated by accepting a game assignment to enforce the rules and regulations as presented to us equally to all inside the fences for the greater good of baseball. At present none of the leagues I work have any such rules regarding the anthem, so as an umpire, I have nothing to enforce there.

~Dawg

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3 hours ago, HokieUmp said:

I realize that might be an unpopular stance.  I'm okay with that.

Nope... cause I'm with you here.

The only guidance I have ever seen from our state is that, as officials, we are to stand for the anthem.

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This is all state dependent, and if there are questions,  your answers should come from there.

Kneeling for the National Anthem in a 'youth game' is just a display of "if they do it, so will I", and they have no idea what they're doing.  Sometimes it could come from the parents, sometimes the coaches (seen that already in the news/youtube about a youth football team).     Regardless of the First Amendment, the National Anthem is not a time/place to try and make a point by kneeling.  If you feel strongly about something, go do something about it.  Kneeling during the National Anthem is not the appropriate venue, and is disrespectful.  I would hope MY state does the right thing.  Which reminds me, ... I should probably see what their stance is ;) 

Actually, ...everyone should ask their state so you know.

P.S. This is MY PERSONAL opinion.  It's not right, or wrong.

P.P.S.  I see different opinions about kneeling already expressed within this post, and that's fine, I just don't want this to become a political 'argument.' 

Thanks for everyone's cooperation in advance :nod: 

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6 hours ago, BT_Blue said:

Nope... cause I'm with you here.

The only guidance I have ever seen from our state is that, as officials, we are to stand for the anthem.

Yep.   It's up to the coaches and the league to police this issue with the players.

The rest of us should remove our hats and stand reverently while the anthem is played.

 

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32 minutes ago, flyingron said:

The rest of us should remove our hats and stand reverently while the anthem is played.

Heck... ill take "remove your hat and stand there not being a jack ass" at times!

Only time I have seen a truly disrespectful act, was a team that on the down beat, would take their caps off their chest and dip them in a planned move. That being said... I have not yet (to my knowledge) been a part of an Anthem Stand-off. And am glad to see we have not tried to compare kneeling to a stand-off. At least not on here.

One (right or wrong) is a constitutionally protected form of free speech. The other, and I am pretty sure we can all agree, is not.

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7 minutes ago, BT_Blue said:

One (right or wrong) is a constitutionally protected form of free speech. The other, and I am pretty sure we can all agree, is not.

Sorry Arik, can you clarify?  Because, a 'stand-off' really has nothing to do w/ the OP or the discussion (at least I don't think) :banghead:

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1 minute ago, Thunderheads said:

Sorry Arik, can you clarify?  Because, a 'stand-off' really has nothing to do w/ the OP or the discussion (at least I don't think) :banghead:

Sorry... still waking up.

I am trying to say that I am glad that we, on this page, have not tried to say that kneeling and a stand-off fall under the same category. That we can agree that one is a topic for discussion with opinions on both sides. While the other is just a giant "no".

If I'm still not making sense. Then please disregard as a random tangent (it was anyways) that I went on. And that the OP needs to find out the SOP of his particular state in this matter.

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Just now, BT_Blue said:

Sorry... still waking up.

I am trying to say that I am glad that we, on this page, have not tried to say that kneeling and a stand-off fall under the same category. That we can agree that one is a topic for discussion with opinions on both sides. While the other is just a giant "no".

If I'm still not making sense. Then please disregard as a random tangent (it was anyways) that I went on. And that the OP needs to find out the SOP of his particular state in this matter.

LOL!!  No, no ...that's perfect, thanks!  That's what I thought you mean but ..... wanted to confirm

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If they kneel on my field... 

then I'll let it go because I'm not the anthem police. 

Personal feelings aside, I'm here to officiate a baseball game, not a political movement or ideology. 

If you want to remove the protest, simply remove the anthem is my thinking.  It wasn't played at the beginning of games until the mid-20th century from my understanding.  I'm pretty sure we'll all make it if it isn't played, because half of our summer games (maybe more) don't play it at all. 

I'm not sure a sporting event is the place to recognize patriotism anyhow.  Regardless,  I respect our flag, our anthem and I love this country, but to argue over whether a person stands up or not at a sporting event is not something that I have time for right now.

Have a great season this year gents!

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Jakeump said:

Arik, why is a stand-off not constitutionally protected? I hardly even know what an anthem stand-off is

....he didn't say that.  Go re-read his response to me when I asked him to clarify ;)

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The OP calls out "youth players".  Before I come back to this, I know how I should react, but I honestly don't know unless the situation presented itself. 

Now, for the purpose of my post, "youth players".....to the best of my knowledge, 18 is the age of consent for most states and therefore, accepted as the "norm" for being an adult (no longer a "youth").  That said, this would include HS players.  I THINK I'd be ok with this one, since they are more aware of the happenings in the world, and start to get closer to that age of consent as well as form their own opinions.  However, the next hits closer to home. 

I've been involved with my local league for 22 years, know most of the coaches from town, and some who brought their kids through the program, are now bringing their grandkids through.  Most in the league know I am a combat vet.  I've lost friends, family and fellow service members.  While I will say that yes, I understand the principle and thought process behind the whole "it's done to bring awareness to....." that was started by CK, but doesn't mean I have to agree with it.  Yes, I fought for their right to be a disrespectful idiot, and for them to show the world.  I fought for their right, to tell me I'm wrong.  I am NOT going to be the one to stop them (unless a rule is implemented indicating such). I'm not bigger than the game, I'm there for the kids.......but I don't  know if I'd stay if that happened in a LL game.  Sometimes, honest soul searching is an eye opener.

This is something I once saw on a t-shirt and it kind of hit home with me.  "If you've never risked coming home under a flag, who are you to disrespect it?"  Now, so as not to be misunderstood, I would respectfully like to clarify for those who may not be familiar with the military.  If you are KIA, your coffin will be draped by a US Flag until burial.

Lastly,  I'll take this opportunity to apologize if this seems like I have gone on a rant, but the OP really got me thinking.  

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23 minutes ago, Aging_Arbiter said:

The OP calls out "youth players".  Before I come back to this, I know how I should react, but I honestly don't know unless the situation presented itself. 

Now, for the purpose of my post, "youth players".....to the best of my knowledge, 18 is the age of consent for most states and therefore, accepted as the "norm" for being an adult (no longer a "youth").  That said, this would include HS players.  I THINK I'd be ok with this one, since they are more aware of the happenings in the world, and start to get closer to that age of consent as well as form their own opinions.  However, the next hits closer to home. 

I've been involved with my local league for 22 years, know most of the coaches from town, and some who brought their kids through the program, are now bringing their grandkids through.  Most in the league know I am a combat vet.  I've lost friends, family and fellow service members.  While I will say that yes, I understand the principle and thought process behind the whole "it's done to bring awareness to....." that was started by CK, but doesn't mean I have to agree with it.  Yes, I fought for their right to be a disrespectful idiot, and for them to show the world.  I fought for their right, to tell me I'm wrong.  I am NOT going to be the one to stop them (unless a rule is implemented indicating such). I'm not bigger than the game, I'm there for the kids.......but I don't  know if I'd stay if that happened in a LL game.  Sometimes, honest soul searching is an eye opener.

This is something I once saw on a t-shirt and it kind of hit home with me.  "If you've never risked coming home under a flag, who are you to disrespect it?"  Now, so as not to be misunderstood, I would respectfully like to clarify for those who may not be familiar with the military.  If you are KIA, your coffin will be draped by a US Flag until burial.

Lastly,  I'll take this opportunity to apologize if this seems like I have gone on a rant, but the OP really got me thinking.  

Sir, I didn't know.  Thank you for your service! 

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Aging_Arbiter, I'm a Vet also and your words were really my first thoughts and why I asked for opinions. . . . "but I don't  know if I'd stay if that happened in a LL game.  Sometimes, honest soul searching is an eye opener." 

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Thanks Jeff.  I'm not the type to puff out my chest and tell war stories at the local VFW.  My point was, that the folks around town that know me......know me.

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1 hour ago, SJA said:

Aging_Arbiter, I'm a Vet also and your words were really my first thoughts and why I asked for opinions. . . . "but I don't  know if I'd stay if that happened in a LL game.  Sometimes, honest soul searching is an eye opener." 

It's funny @SJA ..... this comment struck a chord with me also ..... and it got me to thinking as well!  My father in law who I lived with and cared for for 11+ years till the day he passed, was a WWII Vet (Purple Heart), and all of this , ...well, .... it can hurt quite a bit.   @Aging_Arbiter ...thanks, you've got me thinking quite a bit too!

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Yeah Jeff, it's something for some of us to think about. My honest soul searching is reminding me this: God, Country, and Family first. "To thine own self be true, for a man that stands for nothing will usually fall for anything."

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Supreme Court said government could not compel citizens to salute the flag

Walter Barnette’s children, and others, had been expelled from school for insubordination. Barnette could not afford private schooling and faced potential fines or imprisonment for failing to adhere to compulsory education laws. The Jehovah’s Witnesses filed a class-action lawsuit in Charleston, West Virginia, in August 1942, and the case was heard by a three-judge panel, which decided unanimously in favor of the children, who were readmitted to school promptly.

The case, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943), reached the Supreme Court in March 1943, and the decision was announced on June 14 (Flag Day), 1943, upholding the lower court’s ruling by a 6-3 vote. Justice Robert H. Jackson wrote one of the more eloquent opinions in Court history deciding the case on free speech grounds rather than freedom of religion. The Court held that the government could not compel citizens to express beliefs without violating freedom of speech, and regardless of whether the objections to saluting the flag were religiously based or not, this freedom had to be respected. In language that has become First Amendment lore, Jackson wrote: “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodoxy in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.”

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That's fine Rich, it's a double edged sword. It gives me the right to express my "freedom of speech" as I choose also. :-)
Agree.....plus, it has nothing to do with government, religion or the pledge of allegiance... this is just a respect thing

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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6 hours ago, SJA said:

That's fine Rich, it's a double edged sword. It gives me the right to express my "freedom of speech" as I choose also. :-)

No, it doesn't in the context of officiating.

There has been case law built upon this that indicates that a state actor cannot sanction a student for expressing their political beliefs, even in an extracurricular activity, if such expression does not interfere with the function of said activity. Thus, kneeling outside of gameplay cannot be addressed.

As an official hired by that actor, even mentioning something may cause that to be violated.

11 hours ago, Aging_Arbiter said:

This is something I once saw on a t-shirt and it kind of hit home with me.  "If you've never risked coming home under a flag, who are you to disrespect it?" 

That's a platitude that's bullSH*#, to be blunt. People have the inherent right to criticize, and veterans' opinions are not of more importance on this. 

6 hours ago, Thunderheads said:

Agree.....plus, it has nothing to do with government, religion or the pledge of allegiance... this is just a respect thing

I would suggest that if you didn't want this to turn into a political discussion, don't turn it into a back and forth.

 

All in all, this really boils down to what has already been said--if you have been given guidance, follow that and let whoever issued it deal with the consequences. If not, be quiet.

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