Muslim basketball player cut for anthem warmup, ACLU on it

Friday, November 17, 2017
 | 
Michael F. Haverluck (OneNewsNow.com)

basketball hoopA Muslim community college basketball player in Kansas was cut from his team after taking warmup shots while the national anthem played, and then filed a complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The ACLU followed up by sending Garden City Community College (GCCC) a letter claiming that the Muslim player, Rasool Samir, was not protesting, but rather simply refraining from observing the national anthem because his Muslim faith forbids him from acts of reverence to anything but the god of Islam.

Protest or act of faith?

Instead of leaving the court during the anthem on Nov. 1, Samir decided to take warmup shots while others in the arena observed the flag before a game – which noticeably upset boosters – and triggered immediate action from his coach.

“After the anthem, a GCCC booster came onto the court and confronted Samir about disrespecting the flag, allegedly pushing and grabbing the player before security separated the two and a coach escorted Samir to the locker room,” TheBlaze reported. “The complaint claims that once Samir got in the locker room, the coach ordered Samir to leave the arena and return to his dorm.”

After confronting Samir on the court, the Broncbuster booster, Jim Howard – who was allowed to return to his seat for the game after the incident – came forward to discuss his reaction to the player’s non-observance.

“I’ve had enough of disrespecting our flag,” Howard told the Garden City Telegram. “I’ve been raising money for 32 years for this college, trying to help pay for scholarships for these kids. If they’re not going to respect our flag, then they need to get off our campus and out of Garden City.”

And unlike the NFL, the Kansas college had little tolerance for refusal to respect the country – and college rules – and the coach followed up by allegedly kicking the player off the team, but GCCC Director of Athletics John Green maintained that it was Samir’s decision to actually unenroll from the college.

“Later that same day, Coach Brady Trenkle met with Samir to discuss the incident,” TheBlaze’s Aaron Colen informed. “During that meeting, Samir says Trenkle told him he was being dismissed from the team and purchased Samir’s plane ticket back to his hometown of Philadelphia.”

According to the ACLU and the local paper, Samir apologized for shooting around during the anthem.

“[I did not] mean any disrespect at all to the fans or the flag at last night’s game,” Samir said, according to the Kansas daily. “I am truly sorry to anyone that felt disrespected, and I am also sorry to the school. I apologize for what happened.”

Inconsistent explanations?

On the other hand, another reason was given for Samir’s dismissal.

“The college says Samir was dismissed for a team rules violation because he did not leave the court with his teammates when the anthem was played,” Wichita’s KWCH 12 reported.

Green indicated that Samir’s behavior after the anthem incident spurred the final decision to boot him from the team, and a Garden City Community College statement gives a detailed response to the issue.

“This dismissal is not related to the national anthem, but for conduct following the event,” Green announced, according to the local station.

The ACLU is pressing GCCC to provide a clarification for its reasoning behind Samir’s dismissal from the team.

“…GCCC’s inconsistent explanations have made it difficult to ascertain the school’s official position as to why Samir is no longer on the team roster,” the ACLU stated in its letter to the school. “These shifting explanations also suggest that neither reason is true. Because we are concerned that Samir was kicked off the team for exercising his First Amendment rights, we ask that you please provide us with GCCC’s response to his allegations.”

The letter also contends that anti-American demonstrations are consistent with its own brand of “American values.”

“We believe any disciplinary action by GCCC against Mr. Samir for abstaining from the anthem is antithetical to our American values and a violation of his First Amendment rights,” the ACLU letter issued Nov. 9 expressed.

ACLU Legal Director Lauren Bonds, who penned the letter, is using conflicting accounts disseminated by the media in an attempt to invalidate the GCCC’s dismissal of Samir.

“I think our objective with the letter is to discern the inconsistencies in statements to the media,” Bonds told the Garden City Telegram Wednesday afternoon.

Bonds claimed that GCCC’s dismissal was unconstitutional by citing a dozen or more judicial rulings to indicate that Samir should not have been disciplined for abstaining from the anthem at a public institution.

“It’s a kind of compelled patriotic salutes that we don’t think should be the basis on if a student-athlete is allowed to participate in athletics,” Bonds argued in the letter she said was issued simply to gather information.

She suggested that the ACLU will sue if her leftist legal group does not deem GCCC’s response satisfactory, but noted that when her organization has implemented its routine intimidation tactics by sending demand letters to address similar situations across the nation, the matters are quickly resolved.

“Because we are concerned that Samir was kicked off the team for exercising his First Amendment rights, we ask that you please provide us with GCCC’s response to (Samir’s) allegations,” Bonds expressed in the letter. “In particular, we request any documentation you have that establishes Samir: (1) was not chastised by Coach Trenkle for refusing to salute the flag; (2) was not ordered to leave Conestoga Arena for asserting his right to abstain from the anthem; (3) left the team voluntarily; and (4) was dismissed from the team due to a violation of team rules that carries the penalty of dismissal.”

 

Consider Supporting Us?

The staff at Onenewsnow.com strives daily to bring you news from a biblical perspective. If you benefit from this platform and want others to know about it please consider a generous gift today.

MAKE A DONATION

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

Who do you believe when you hear them talk about the Republican tax reform bill?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set 'to rock'
Residents flee as flames approach wealthy Calif. enclave
A CDC ban on 'fetus' and 'transgender?' Experts alarmed
After Alabama, abortion may be backseat issue in 2018 races
'This is happening': GOP revels in all-but-certain tax deal
On Trump turf, GOP still seeks N.D. Senate candidate
Major media players start commission for sexual misconduc

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Trump lawyer accuses Mueller’s investigation of serious wrongdoing that may even violate Constitution
NBC paid off producer who accused Chris Matthews of harassment, report says
Russia fines pastor for holding Bible study
Trump ally Roger Stone cleared in NY defamation case
One obvious detail revealed this 'Green Beret' was a total fraud

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
Bizarre: Catholic doctrine riles some on Catholic campus

natural marriageAfter being targeted as a "hate group" by LGBT activists, a student group at Georgetown University that believes in traditional marriage will continue to be recognized by the oldest Catholic university in the U.S.