Alabama Football Announcer/Pastor: You Should Be Shot For Not Standing For National Anthem
The announcer of the Friday night football game at McKenzie High School in Alabama’s Butler County had something to say to those who may choose not to stand for the national anthem.
“If you don’t want to stand for the national anthem, you can line up over there by the fence and let our military personnel take a few shots at you since they’re taking shots for you,” the announcer said at the game versus Houston County High School, according to Facebook poster Denise Crowley-Whitfield.
Crowley-Whitfield said the crowd went “crazy cheering” following the speech.
The announcer was identified as Pastor Allen Joyner, of Sweet Home Baptist Church in McKenzie, according to Joyner’s relatives and friends, who also posted to Facebook and praised the statement.
Crowley-Whitfield’s post was shared more than 4,700 times and received more than 50 comments, all positive, before she deleted her Facebook account on Saturday afternoon.
Butler County Schools Superintendent Amy Bryan denounced Joyner’s comments in a statement to AL.com.
“Patriotism should be a part of school events but threats of shooting people who aren’t patriotic, even in jest, have no place at a school,” she wrote in an email. “Threats of violence are a violation of school policy and certainly not condoned by the school board.”
Bryan said she didn’t know if any action will be taken against Joyner. The school board meets next week, and the matter could be addressed then, she said.
Sweet Home Baptist Church supported the pastor’s comments, saying they were “taken out of context and misquoted” in a post to its Facebook page on Saturday. The post was up for about an hour before the Facebook page was deleted.
Mark Bender, a 22 year Air Force veteran from Texas, spoke out against Joyner in a post on the Sweet Home Alabama Baptist Church’s Facebook page, calling the pastor’s words “abhorrent and disgusting.”
He said he is “deeply offended and saddened” by Joyner’s “hateful rhetoric.
“We fight so that all Americans retain their rights and freedoms to protest,” Bender wrote. “I would never turn a weapon on my own countryman simply because they protest by remaining seated during the national anthem, by refusing to recite the pledge of allegiance, refusing to stand or pledge during any act. These things we do, these pledges, these songs, these are not compulsory acts. They are acts that we are all free to join or not.
“I am proud that we have that freedom whether or not I agree with someone’s non-violent protest,” he continued. “You, on the other hand are promoting extremist violence by way of state sanctioned executions. You are obviously standing for the compulsory actions by way of preaching hatred, jingoism, American exceptionalism — all because people do not believe or think as you do. I am grateful that the majority of Americans do not thirst for their brother’s blood as you do. You are a disgrace, those who agree with you are a disgrace, and you are a black mark upon this great nation. You should certainly hang your heads in shame.”
McKenzie is a small town located between Greenville and Andalusia.
Efforts made by AL.com to reach Joyner on Saturday have been unsuccessful.
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