Jim Howard 74, of Garden City, Kansas, was just trying to enjoy a college basketball game when he noticed that one player was out of line. The basketball player Samir decided the best time to warm up for a game was during the National Anthem. Howard seeing the blatant disregard for the flag and all that it stands for, confronted Samir on his disrespectful move.
“I told him If you don’t respect the flag, get out of this gym. Get off the floor and get out of the gym and he proceeded to tell me he didn’t have to.” Howard then tried to reason with him: “At least respect the people that paid for your scholarship to get you on this campus – like myself and everyone else in that gym.”
Campus police were called in to separate the two as Howard was not going to back down and allow this Anti-American display to continue on.
The College attorney threatened that they may press charges against Howard claiming it violated Samirs right.
“a decision may subsequently be made by the appropriate prosecutor whether battery, assault or disorderly conduct charges should be filed”
Much like the NFL this sports player couldn’t grasp the importance of honoring your country’s flag. Thankfully Samir took the hint and is no longer on the team. It is unclear whether he chose to leave due to this incident or was kicked off for his slight of the American Flag and The National Anthem.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas has already taken sides – sending a letter to the community college demanding to know why Mr. Samir is no longer on the team.
“Samir was engaged in protected First Amendment activity when he declined to observe the national anthem,” the ACLU wrote in a letter to the school. “Moreover, Samir’s objection was motivated by his religious beliefs and thus, was protected on free speech exercise grounds.’
If that’s the case, why didn’t Mr. Samir simply stay inside the locker room until after the national anthem had concluded? Why didn’t he follow the coach’s directive to stay inside the locker room?
“This was definitely an ‘in your face’ move. He knew exactly what he was doing because he was waiting for it to happen,’ Mr. Howard told me.
As for now, Mr. Howard has not faced any criminal charges for defending the national anthem. However, should he be arrested, I told him I would be honored to post his bail.