Respect for veterans should be an absolute priority for Americans of all political beliefs. Veterans fought for us and lost friends so we could continue to live in our free society. Now as the Blaze reports, a veteran has been severely punished after leaving a football game where players kneeled for the anthem.
The individual this happened to is 67-year-old Air Force veteran Jim Saddler who was actually a former flight attendant for Air Force One under President Ronald Reagan. Saddler now works as an usher at Indiana Pacers games, and does some part-time work as a referee at high school volleyball, softball and basketball. In other words, he’s a very good man who wants to give back to his community.
What happened, unfortunately, however, is that Saddler was working as a referee at a high school volleyball game on Oct. 9 at North Central High School when he saw fans sitting in the bleachers during the national anthem. He didn’t like it but he just ignored it. Then, however, he saw a player who took a knee during the anthem and was too disgusted to just stand there. Saddler left the school and put down his referee flag on the table and told the coach he was gone because he didn’t want to work at a game where America was disrespected. He left $20 to cover his salary he would have been paid for the referee work.
Soon after Saddler found out he’d been suspended by the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) for over one year! He is furious and he doesn’t understand why he’s the one in trouble here, but also has said sorry he let his disappointment at the kneeling get the better of him.
“In the Air Force, you have a duty, and you do it. The same with sporting events. I guess I went AWOL. I feel bad about it,” Saddler said, but explaining that “What they did just upset me so badly that I just could not stay there.”
Seeing a player kneel just really got his goat.
“I know it’s her constitutional right to do what she wants to do. And it wasn’t fair to the other girls who were standing and respecting the flag. After I thought about it, you know, sometimes it takes you a little time to sit down and think about stuff and what you did. And after I thought about it, I would never ever do that again,” Saddler said. “I would never break a contract.”
Saddler apologized to IHSAA after finding out he was suspended, but was told there’s no chance of coming back before the suspension is up.
“I don’t think the IHSAA (cared) about what I said or what I did or that I said I wouldn’t do it again. Here I am a retired veteran, you have to see my point of view of what I did. Right?” he asked.
The North Central athletic director, Paul Loggan, said Saddler is a good worker who hasn’t had previous problems, but he’s not going to change the suspension.
What do you think of this story? Isn’t it an outrage?