CAMDEN - The Diocese of Camden says it will not tolerate protests during the national anthem.
The diocese sent letters to its six high schools stating that student-athlete protests will not be tolerated and that anyone who chooses to sit or kneel during the national anthem will face consequences.
The decree comes as other student-athletes are refusing to stand for the anthem in a show of solidarity with San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The NFL player began sitting during the anthem to call attention to racism and injustice.
The Diocese of Camden says in a statement, "We are not public institutions, and free speech in all of its demonstrations including protests is not a guaranteed right."
Student-athletes who protest will be suspended for two games. If they do it again, they will be kicked off of the team.
Players and coaches at Camden’s Woodrow Wilson High School, a public school, knelt during the national anthem in silent protest at Saturday’s game.