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Jamestown superintendent issues statement on kneeling 9th-grade football player

Bret Apthorpe, the superintendent of Jamestown Public Schools, issued a statement Friday morning regarding a Jamestown player who kneeled during the national anthem prior to the district's ninth-grade football team's game Thursday evening.

According to a report by Jamestown's WNY News Now, freshman Lebron Fisher kneeled before the ninth-grade football team's game at Dunkirk.

Statement from Jamestown Superintendent Bret Apthorpe:

Regarding the event at the JHS 9th Grade Football game last night when a player knelt during the National Anthem, Jamestown Public Schools believes that this presents an opportunity for a learning moment among our students.

Jamestown coaches and teachers will use this opportunity for all students in our district to learn more about patriotism, sacrifice, civil rights, advocacy and freedom of speech. This event is not about consequences for students, and there will be no consequences for this student, but rather it is about a learning moment for all students.

Here is WNY News Now's video report:

The issue of football players kneeling during the national anthem – which began last season with Colin Kaepernick's protest against racial injustice – was a major issue last weekend in the National Football League after President Trump criticized players who did so.

It has been an especially lively topic with the Buffalo Bills this week after Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly criticized LeSean McCoy and other players Monday.

Kimberley A. Martin: McDermott, Bills in uncharted territory with Trump, Kelly drama

Jim Kelly: 'I lost a lot of respect' for LeSean McCoy after anthem protest; Sean McDermott, Eric Wood respond

Bucky Gleason: Bills young and old personify endless, multisided national debate

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