High school basketball players in Arizona kneel during national anthem

Photo: Michael Chow / The Republic

High school basketball players in Arizona kneel during national anthem

Boys Basketball

High school basketball players in Arizona kneel during national anthem

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Before Chandler (Ariz.) High School played rival Chandler Hamilton in a boys basketball game Tuesday night at Hamilton, Ariz., three Chandler players knelt with heads bowed during the playing of the national anthem.

Chandler Principal Larry Rother said in an email the players have been doing this all season.

“Some members of this team have been kneeling all season,” wrote Rother, whose brother Jonathan, is the head coach of the team. “Chandler High has a long tradition of patriotism and an equally long tradition of supporting students’ First Amendment rights to free speech and expression.”

What statement were they making?

Rother didn’t get into details on why, but said: “Schools, and our students, are not immune from the political climate in our country.”

“It is important that as school administrators, coaches and teachers, we find a balance between encouraging students to be informed consumers of the world around them while respecting and honoring the views of our community,” Rother said.

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