Written by DML
This is one of those stories that will make you bite your lip to the point where blood may actually begin to drip because you clamp down so hard.
Moments ago, I walked in the house from a walk with my daughter. Immediately, Mary asks if I checked my phone. I respond, “No.”
She forces me to stop what I’m doing — she wants me to click a link on my phone. Mary says, “Be prepared, this is going to make you mad.”
The link goes to a video and article from Todd Starnes who hosts a weekend radio show with Fox News. In the video, he is interviewing Tim Howard of Garden City, Kansas.
Howard claims he has volunteered at the local college for 32 years. He’s helped with the booster club, keeping scorebooks, holding fundraisers, running the chains for football games, and even providing a place for players to have a Thanksgiving meal.
On this day he is telling Starnes about what he witnessed Nov. 1.
Howard was in the stands for the season-opener of the Garden City Broncbusters basketball team. And when the announcer asked everyone to stand for the national anthem, he dutifully joined the crowd and stood at attention.
At that point, Howard tells Starnes he saw one of the players seated on a bench. The player was Rasool Samir, a 19-year-old Muslim.
Howard explains that seeing Samir sitting courtside sparked some confusion because the team’s rule is that the entire basketball team stay inside the locker room until after the national anthem is finished.
Howard explains to Starnes that Samir grabbed a ball once the anthem started playing. He walked onto the court and began shooting baskets.
Pissed off beyond belief, at the conclusion of the anthem Howard walked down to the court and confronted Samir: “I walked onto the floor and I told the guy he should respect the flag and if he’s not going to respect the flag, he should get off the court and get out of the gym.”
“You should respect the flag. If you don’t respect the flag, just stay seated. Don’t make a big scene,” he said. “At least respect the people that paid for your scholarship to get you on this campus – like myself and everyone else in that gym.”
Starnes goes on to explain that a police officer broke up the confrontation – telling Howard to return to his seat while the cop escorted the player off the court.
Howard received a standing ovation as he returned to his seat.
The following day Samir was dismissed from the team.
However, there are two versions as to what happened. The local newspaper says it was Samir’s decision to leave. But the American Civil Liberties Union claims the young man was kicked off the team.
The Kansas chapter of the ACLU fired off a letter to the community college demanding answers and claiming that Samir’s constitutional rights were violated.
“He refrained from participating in the national anthem because he is a Muslim and his faith prohibits acts of reverence to anything but God,” the ACLU wrote in a letter to the school.
Well, if that’s the case, why didn’t Samir stay inside the locker room with the rest of the team during the national anthem?
Kudos to Starnes for covering this story, and to Mary for sending me the link. But my hat goes off to Mr. Howard for being an American patriot.
I concur with Starnes who says if this Muslim teenager doesn’t like the national anthem, then he should go play hoops somewhere else. I suggest he try the Middle East.
To listen to Todd’s interview, click here.