KARK reports that Jessieville High School football coach Don Phillips was suspended from participation in the school’s first football game because one of his player waved a Confederate flag at a pre-game pep rally.
Coach Phillips said there is no school policy banning students from displaying a Confederate flag, but said with all the controversy behind it right now, he feels it’s offensive and disrespectful.
Now, Phillips is taking full responsibility for what happened.
Several pictures posted on a Facebook page show the football player holding the Confederate flag, while he stood on top of a fire truck during the event.
Coach Phillips said he got to the pep rally late and did not see the flag until the event was nearly over.
“My first inclination was to climb a fence, go through a bunch of elementary kids and go remove the flag,” said Phillips.
While at the pep rally, Coach Phillips said he was approached by several school administrators, asking him not to show up to the game.
“Obviously, they’ve entrusted me to lead our team. They’ve entrusted the young men that are with me to represent the things our school and community and certainly that was lacking on that day,” said Phillips.
So, he didn’t go.
The flag was waved by a student already suspended from playing for three games for an unrelated reason.
KARK has a long interview with a well-spoken coach with good intentions who, you might say, took one for the team by taking a punishment for something in which he had no part and which he disapproved. In short, he said, just because something might be legal, doesn’t make it right.