The national anthem echoed through Los Alamitos High School’s gymnasium last week during a winter sports assembly when a non-white student decided to take a knee. He almost made it through the entire Francis Scott Key tune while taking a page from former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest playbook. But when the singer struck her high notes during “the land of the free” verse, a white student rushed over to disrupt the display of dissent by physically forcing his classmate to stand.
Cheers came from the bleachers. The student, a high school football player, jogged back keeping his right hand over his heart as the anthem concluded. The incident probably would’ve remained in the realm of school ground gossip, but, kids being kids these days, Snapchat video of it ended up on Twitter where the jock’s protest interference became a hot topic ever since.
Why did he pick up his classmate? “I know tons of people that have served and are currently serving that hate to see this happen so I’m speaking for them,” the student, whose name we’re withholding, tweeted at his detractors. As for the other student who took a knee? He’s not active on Twitter and the Weekly hasn’t been able to reach him otherwise. Did he do it to protest police brutality? Did he know Key was a slave owner who wished death upon slaves in the full version of the “Star Spangled Banner?” Who knows! A source at Los Alamitos High School requesting anonymity did tell us that a girl unsuccessfully tried disrupting the protest first when the high school football player swooped in to save the day afterward.
Wtf is going on in Los Alamitos? pic.twitter.com/YN6bA0JG09
— :/ (@Eddio432) February 2, 2018
Neither student faced any disciplinary measures for their actions, according to our source. But Twitter, apparently, hasn’t been as forgiving. The jock claims he’s received death threats for his deed and that colleges have rescinded their offers for him to play college football with a coordinated Twitter campaign turning up the burners against him. Having become a #MAGA darling online, the student is retweeting efforts to gain attention to his story from the likes of Fox News’ Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson; Oh, and president Trump, too.
The Weekly asked principal Dr. Brandon Martinez about the protest incident and any reports of death threats, but didn’t receive a comment by press time.
On Tuesday, things seemed to have smoothed out when the two teens at the center of the controversy shook hands for a Twitpic. “No matter how different people’s opinions and views in the world, anyone can come to an agreement because at the end of the day, we are all human and it’s better to live with peace and not hate,” the jock tweeted along with the pic of him with the protester. “After the whole national anthem situation I’m glad to say we’re friends.” Some folks mistook the statement for a mea culpa. “Who said I apologized?” the jock tweeted. If anything, he noted, the protester apologized to him.
National politics playing out at Los Alamitos High School isn’t anything new, according to our school source. It’s a MAGA-friendly campus where students proudly wear their pro-Trump red caps. When some students walked out of sixth period in 2016 to protest Trump’s electoral victory, other showered them with “Build the wall” chants.
Stay classy, Los Alamitos High!
Gabriel San Roman is from Anacrime. He’s a journalist, subversive historian and tallest Mexican in OC.