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Local coaches respond to NFL controversy

By: ELIZABETH WEST
Managing Editor

Last Sunday, politics entered the National Football League (NFL) when the Pittsburgh Steelers remained in their locker room as the National Anthem played before their game against the Chicago Bears.
The news of the team’s decision to skip country’s national anthem came from Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin hours before the game’s start.
The actions of this team led to a multitude of tweets on Twitter from President Donald Trump himself.
One tweet read, “Sports fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their National Anthem or their Country. NFL should change policy!”
While some local coaches have chosen to not talk about the NFL controversy, others, like Pine Prairie High School’s coach, Yves Prince, echoed similar feelings as the president over this matter.
“We should all show respect for the flag,” said Prince. “What I learned from Coach Eddie Robinson was that if there is no flag, you stand for the Anthem.”
For Prince, his feelings are based on respect, but at the same time he says, “If you don’t want to stand for the flag, stay in the locker room.”
Prince said, “I am all for respecting the flag and the soldiers that fought for it. I like the way the Dallas Cowboys handled the situation. Adults have to be role models for the younger generation.”
For Basile’s coach, Kevin Bertrand, he has chosen to stay away from speaking to kids about this issue, although he says he will always stand for the national anthem.
Bertrand said, “I have not really addressed the flag controversy with the kids. I think high school football is different than professional football. I have always honored the flag and I always will.”
Another coach from the parish who voiced their thoughts on this topic is Pine Prairie native and Plainview basketball and softball coach, Elliott West.
West said, “America is the greatest country in the world. I will always stand and salute Ol’ Glory until the end. This country is far greater than any athlete, protestor, or sport.”
When it comes to dealing with the matter in high school sports West said he will just continue to “pray.”
West said, “I just keep praying that I, as a coach, will never have to deal with this matter.”

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