A four-star Texas A&M recruit who was one of the few top recruits to publicly announce he would follow the lead of NFL players and kneel during the National Anthem has abruptly changed course, announcing on Twitter on Monday evening that he would instead stand with his teammates.
Leon O’Neal Jr., one of the nation’s top safety recruits who hails from the Houston area, announced on Sunday that he planned to kneel during the National Anthem of his team’s next game, on Saturday September 30. He apparently made that decision before consulting with his teammates and family, because a day later he Tweeted a complete about face, instead saying that he would “be STANDING in UNITY with my team.”
O’Neal Jr.’s decision takes some of the spark away from Cy Springs’ scheduled game against local rival Cypress Creek, with O’Neal Jr. possibly the highest profile recruit thus far to publicly declare his intention to protest the national anthem. Instead, his show of solidarity will fall in line with most high school athletes, though there have certainly been other exceptions.
Perhaps the real question is whether O’Neal Jr.’s decision this time is truly final. After all, there’s still five days to go until the next game day.