Refs Fed Up With Anthem Protests, Walk Off Field When Players Take a Knee
Well, it seems viewers and former NFL fans aren’t the only people upset with the NFL anthem protests. Who isn’t tired of the NFL protesters, right? This sick and pathetic act of kneeling during the national anthem has now made it’s way down to the high school level of football as well. It seems the referees have had enough! They are responding in their own unique way – walking out! That’s right! Doesn’t anyone know how to show a little respect to our military or flag?
Two New Jersey high school football officials walked off the field Friday night after players knelt during the national anthem.
Ernie Lunardelli, 54, and his son, Anthony, 27, stood for the anthem and left the field after seeing players on Monroe High School football team kneeling prior to a Sept. 28 game at New Brunswick, NJ.com reported.
Both of the Lunardelli men warned the schools ahead of time that they would not officiate if any players took a knee during the anthem. They were good to their word. Nice to see real men take a stand. School officials planned retaliation against them and have filed a complaint with the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association.
The officials’ spots were filled by junior cadet officials at the game, Ernie Lunardelli told NJ.com.
“I’m not in favor of anyone disrespecting our country, our flag, the armed forces,” he said.
“What they’re protesting has nothing to do with the national anthem and I’m against it, so I decided to protest for them kneeling and that’s what I did,” the veteran football official said.
“Whoever is disrespecting that flag and the national anthem, that’s who I have a problem with.
“That’s my protest. I don’t care if it’s a baby, if it’s an 80-year-old man, anybody. I don’t care. Any race, color, I don’t care who it is. It’s not the way I was brought up and it pisses me off that people are doing that,” he added.
“What hurts the most is these kids don’t even know why they’re kneeling. I just don’t understand why this is happening, especially at the high school level. If you’re not happy with being in America, go somewhere else. It’s that simple.”
Anthony Lunardelli, who graduated from Monroe in 2008, said he thought kneeling during the anthem was disrespectful.
“They’ve got a right to protest and so do we,” he told MyCentralNewJersey.com. “That (taking a knee during the anthem) is not how I was brought up, and that’s not how I was raised. I’m not criticizing their right. That’s just my viewpoint.”
New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association assistant director Jack DuBois told NJ.com that the situation was unheard of.
“I’ve been involved in high school athletics for 48 years and I’ve never seen or heard of an official leaving a game in any sport,” DuBois said.
“I don’t think it would be appropriate to comment about what transpired without know exactly what happened and why. I can tell you this will be investigated by both the Central Jersey chapter and our office.”
Ernie Lunardelli, who is in his 18th season of officiating games, told NJ.com he expected to be ostracized because of his actions.
“I have a lawyer already set up because they’re not going to run me out of town,” Ernie said. “They’re going to try to blackball me. I know what’s going to happen.”
“They are trying to get them to not give us any more games, basically saying we put the players’ safety in danger, but we didn’t,” Anthony Lunardelli said. “They obviously had enough officials to do the game. I’m not really worried about (being sanctioned). If I don’t ref again, it won’t be the end of the world.” Greater Middlesex Conference football committee Chairman Ben LaSala said the matter would be discussed at an upcoming meeting.
Neither LaSala nor NJSIAA coordinator of football officials Carmine Picardo would speculate about what actions, if any, would be taken against the father and son referees.
Ernie Lunardelli said he already received a letter relieving him of his spot officiating at the next game.
When is this going to end! These are young students following the advice of their coaches in most cases. Most don’t even know why they are protesting. But then again, most of these students probably don’t even know the tradition behind standing for the flag either. It’s certainly not being taught that’s for sure.
The national anthem protests have become a very hot topic ever since President Trump attacked those who chose to disrespect the flag. As a result of more players protesting the national anthem ratings plummeted, ticket sales dropped, and fans have boycotted the league.
It’s time for the NFL owners and the NFL to take a stand. And I don’t mean cut out the national anthem out of the beginning of the show, which many stations are now allegedly doing. I guess they must think if you don’t see the kneelers, it doesn’t exist. That’s called liberal logic.
No, the stand I’m referring to that the NFL owners need to take is – the owners are the bosses. The bosses need to tell THEIR employees (NFL players) what they can and can’t do during THEIR time on the job! Period.
IF these morons or NFL players want to protest – they need to do it on their own time, not on their employer’s time.
In addition, what administrators or patriots would allow their children to kneel and show disrespect to our veterans and our military who have fought to defend our country, our constitution and honor our flag?
Wake up people! This IS about RESPECT and HONOR! If you live in America and you don’t like your freedom – just go somewhere else!
H/T Conservative Tribune