Brittany ComakSep 30, 2017, 12:23 pmOct 1, 2017, 6:10 am

Holy Trinity High team plays first game since RVC Diocese forbid anthem protest

National anthem was not played at start of Saturday game between Holy Trinity and Holy Cross

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The Junior Varsity team at Holy Trinity High School in Hicksville played its first game Saturday since the Diocese of Rockville Center reasserted its policy on standing during the national anthem at school events.

What began as a small sign of protest against police brutality in the African American community has grown large in the national spotlight, with President Donald Trump declaring that NFL coaches should be firing those players who are not standing for the national anthem.

Since then, sports teams of all ages have joined the movement. On Long Island, the Diocese of Rockville Centre is reminding students and spectators alike that protesting the anthem will not be allowed at any school events, whether football or band concerts.

The Diocese says this always been a policy, and reaffirmed the same in a letter to its schools' principals this week, including Holy Trinity High in Hicksville. People at Saturday’s game between Holy Trinity and Holy Cross fell on both sides of the issue.

Parent Maria Fasce says, "I think all the kids should stand, I think everyone should stand for the flag. We're Americans and we should be proud to be Americans."

Holy Trinity freshman Janae Fouche says, "They shouldn't pressure people into making them stand for the national anthem, people should have a choice. If you're not from this country you shouldn't have to, or even if you live in America you still shouldn't have to, it should be your choice. It's a free country so, why not?"

In a statement about the reminder, the Diocese said: "The Diocese has been asked whether this policy has anything to do with a recent controversy about kneeling during the national anthem in the National Football League. It does not — the policy is of long standing — and the Diocese and its schools take no position on that controversy or the subsequent national political debate over it."

In addition, a representative from the Diocese says that they respect everyone's right to free speech, and challenging racism is directly in line with Catholic teachings. However, the representative stresses that the national anthem is not the time to draw attention to protest.

The statement from the Diocese also threatens disciplinary action for those that do not abide by the rules.

And in an interesting twist, at the start of Saturday's game at Holy Trinity, the national anthem was not even played. The reason behind the decision is unknown.

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