As a form of protest to racial injustice and police brutality, Colin Kaepernick - former NFL quarterback - got down on one knee during the National Anthem instead of standing straight. Supporters were quick to support his cause, also getting down on one knee whenever the National Anthem was played.
Despite being a protest against one of the most common issues in America, several patriotic citizens feel that this is a show of disrespect to the country, the flag, and the military. Even the younger generation is getting involved in the protest; as was the case for the Monroe High School’s football team.
As the Star-Spangled Banner started playing before the game, several of the players took a knee to show their support of the protest. The two referees of the game; Ernie Lunardelli, 54-years-old; and his son Anthony Lundardelli, 27-years-old; were less than happy about this.
Unwilling to stand by and watch the teenagers disrespect America, the two referees quit - leaving the very game they were supposed to be a part of. This was, in a way, their form of protest as Ernie was especially outraged to watch such form of disrespect.
Ernie believes that their cause for protesting has nothing to do with the National Anthem, so why only do it whenever it’s played? He also mentions that he still respects everyone’s right to protest, but he doesn’t understand why it has to be done during the pregame ceremony when the event is supposed to be just about football.
Ernie already sensed some of the players might protest during the game, and had already briefed the league’s commission that if he sees anyone bending a knee, he and his son will leave, no questions asked.
Upon the exit of the two referees, a couple of cadets on the chain crew replaced them to officiate the game. According to Ernie, since these two kids weren’t trained or carded, the game didn’t have the right personnel and as a result, is not considered an official game.