A high school football official in North Carolina is believed to be the first official to take a knee during the playing of the national anthem.
The official, who has not been identified, kneeled before the Southwest vs. Croatan High School game, according to the Jacksonville Daily News. It is unclear whether the official has taken a knee before previous games.
“I just think it’s not right to do that at a high school football game, especially for a official paid by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association,” N.C. General Assembly Representative Phil Shepard told the JDN on Saturday.
“Whether you agree with whats going on or not, he’s officiating a local ball game where young men and women are watching. Military men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice for this country and I believe it’s disrespectful to the country, everybody in the country and what it stands for.”
A spokeswoman for the school district and the North Carolina High School Athletic Association did not respond to the JDN for comment.
The move sparked social media conversation with many criticizing the official.