An Alabama Baptist pastor made some harsh and threatening comments about anyone who chooses to kneel or sit when the national anthem plays before sporting events.
The pastor, Allen Joyner, is also the McKenzie High football announcer. During a game Friday night, he had more than a few choice words about the protest against the national anthem that was originally sparked by San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback, Colin Kaepernick.
According to Denise Crowley-Whitfield, who attended Friday’s game, Joyner made an announcement before playing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
“If you don’t want to stand for the national anthem, you can line up over there by the fence and let our military personnel take a few shots at you since they’re taking shots for you,” he allegedly said.
Crowley-Whitfield noted that Joyner’s announcement was met with cheers and applause. She has since deleted her controversial post, but thanks to screengrab, it lives on.
Denise and "pastor" Allen Joyner have it backwards. I served for us all to have the freedom to choose. You decide. pic.twitter.com/SWCgE121Dc— Bill Mendocino (@BillYosemite) September 12, 2016
As word spread about Joyner’s threatening and inappropriate remarks, Butler County Schools Superintendent, Amy Bryan, spoke out against them.
“Patriotism should be a part of school events but threats of shooting people who aren’t patriotic, even in jest, have no place at a school,” Bryan reportedly wrote in an email to AL.com.
“Threats of violence are a violation of school policy and certainly not condoned by the school board,” she added.
A 22-year Air Force veteran named Mark Bender also offered his own response to Joyner’s comments in a reply to a Facebook post created by Joyner’s church in support of his actions.
“We fight so that all Americans retain their rights and freedoms to protest,” Bender wrote. “I would never turn a weapon on my own countryman simply because they protest by remaining seated during the national anthem, by refusing to recite the pledge of allegiance, refusing to stand or pledge during any act. These things we do, these pledges, these songs, these are not compulsory acts. They are acts that we are all free to join or not.
“I am proud that we have that freedom whether or not I agree with someone’s non-violent protest,” he continued. “You, on the other hand are promoting extremist violence by way of state sanctioned executions. You are obviously standing for the compulsory actions by way of preaching hatred, jingoism, American exceptionalism — all because people do not believe or think as you do. I am grateful that the majority of Americans do not thirst for their brother’s blood as you do. You are a disgrace, those who agree with you are a disgrace, and you are a black mark upon this great nation. You should certainly hang your heads in shame.”
According to Superintendent Bryan, it is unknown whether or not action will be taken against Joyner for his comments; however, the school board is set to meet this week and will address the issue.
One person’s beliefs are easy to denounce or ignore, but the underlying issue is the fact that many Americans actually share Joyner’s sentiments.
Crowley-Whitfield’s original post was shared almost 5,000 times and garnered more than 50 comments with positive reactions before she deleted it, according to AL.com. There probably would have been more to come had the post stayed up.
Sadly, this indicates that we are living in a society that is okay with infringing on Americans’ rights simply because they hold opposing views.
We are living in a society that would rather promote violence than actually address the issues people are protesting about.
Americans who think like Joyner are the ones who allowed the likes of Donald Trump — who has encouraged bigotry, hate, and violence — to be one step away from the White House.
Banner Photo Credit: Pixabay user Emmanouel