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Old 11-07-2006, 08:46 AM   #1
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Coach Won't Remove Hat During Anthem, Veterans Angry

I wonder what would happen if any of the players refused to remove their hats/helmets.

(CBS4) SHARON A silent protest is drawing loud criticism from Massachusetts veterans. Before every game, Sharon football coach, John Cacace refuses to take his hat off during the national anthem, but he won't say exactly why.

The men at VFW Post 7238 in Sharon take pride in their military service, and expect a level of respect for that service. So they're angry the local high school football coach refuses to remove his hat when the national anthem is performed before games.

Head coach Cacace declined to comment on camera for this story. He issued a statement saying: "I applaud all of the people who helped secure my right of freedom of expression and freedom of speech. I regret that this may in any way, shape or form take away from the effort and perseverance my team has put forth on the field."

Veterans say he doesn't get it. "If you don't want to take your hat off, or if you don't want to be respectful to the flag, you're being disrespectful to those who served, those who are serving, and those killed in action."

In town, parents say this is about rules. "Just as high school students, they have to. One requirement is they can't wear hats in school, and those are rules. I think the coach should follow the rules society has put in place for the national anthem."

The Sharon football team is scheduled to play their next game this Saturday, which ironically enough, is Veterans Day.

School officials would only say publicly that the coach has a right to express his personal opinions. The coach did try to reach out to the veterans at Local 7238, but he was not invited in.
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Old 11-07-2006, 09:12 AM   #2
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I don't know the reason why he won't remove his hat. I don't think it matters. I'm assuming it's not to cover a bald head. With that assumption, it is a private statement he chooses to make. Even in its silence, it's protected speech. I have no problem with it.
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Old 11-07-2006, 11:46 AM   #3
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Re: Coach Won't Remove Hat During Anthem, Veterans Angry

I disagree with so many things said here:

Quote:
Veterans say he doesn't get it. "If you don't want to take your hat off, or if you don't want to be respectful to the flag, you're being disrespectful to those who served, those who are serving, and those killed in action
That is their own interpretation. I personally don't believe that worshipping a flag means you are respecting people who have served in the military. But then that is my own interpretation.


Quote:
In town, parents say this is about rules. "Just as high school students, they have to. One requirement is they can't wear hats in school, and those are rules. I think the coach should follow the rules society has put in place for the national anthem."
The only rule I know know of that applies to this is the First Amendment. It's not like he was burning the flag either, he was probably making a quiet, passive, personal statement.


Quote:
School officials would only say publicly that the coach has a right to express his personal opinions. The coach did try to reach out to the veterans at Local 7238, but he was not invited in.
I don't understand what this part is about. He wanted to talk to them and open dialogue, and they wouldn't let him. Do they think that by treating him like that he is going to suddenly change his mind and do what they want?
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Old 11-07-2006, 01:24 PM   #4
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Nihilism.
What a role model for the youths at this school.
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Old 11-07-2006, 01:28 PM   #5
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Originally posted by INDY500
Nihilism.
What a role model for the youths at this school.
Youth can't have role models that teach them quiet protest?

Seems pretty one sided.
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Old 11-07-2006, 01:42 PM   #6
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Doesn't the VFW have more important things to worry about? Like, oh, I don't know, helping veterans?
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Old 11-07-2006, 03:11 PM   #7
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People who wear hats hate freedom.
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Old 11-07-2006, 05:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bono's shades
Doesn't the VFW have more important things to worry about? Like, oh, I don't know, helping veterans?
Absolutely, and I also defend anyone's right to freedom of expression and speech. But I still take respecting the anthem seriously, and honestly it still offends me when people don't do that. Usually it isn't any form of silent protest, it's just drunkenness at a sporting event or just laziness or ignorance or whatever. If he's so proud of whatever his reason is, I don't know why he refuses to say what it is. I would still always defend his right to protest in that way, but one might also argue that he could find more important and significant ways in which to protest the govt or whatever he's protesting than refusing to remove his hat.
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Old 11-07-2006, 05:27 PM   #9
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How did anyone even notice this? If everyone else was paying "proper" attention to the what they were "supposed" to be they wouldn't be looking around to see what anyone else was doing.

It seems to me the people complaining about disrespecting the flag and/or anthem him are every bit as guilty of disrespecting the meaning those symbols represent. That meaning is much much more important than any song or piece of cloth.
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Old 11-07-2006, 06:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by indra
How did anyone even notice this?
That's what I was wondering.

My paternal grandpa is a WWII vet. He never talked about it, but I've seen his photos of 2000 rotting corpses stacked like wood or tossed into open mass graves, the crossing of the Rhine, the liberation of Paris, the German SS officials posing for American photos, so desperate to get away from the Nazi party that they willingly surrendered....anyway, ever since gramps died and we've kept his "official" veteran flag on our mantel, the flag has meant a lot more to me.

Personally, there are far more significant issues that bother me each day than whether or not a coach wants to leave his cap on. I can see where the vets are coming from, and I don't think it's the right course of action for the coach to prove his point (whatever his point is), but this act alone certainly doesn't offend me. Honestly, it's more offensive to me when people say "Well the flag/national anthem are just stupid symbols, why should it even matter?" I'd rather have someone REALLY be against something and protesting like this than doing it an then saying "well why should it matter anyway?", if that makes any sense.
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Old 11-07-2006, 06:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by indra
How did anyone even notice this? If everyone else was paying "proper" attention to the what they were "supposed" to be they wouldn't be looking around to see what anyone else was doing.

Great point...
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Old 11-07-2006, 06:52 PM   #12
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Most times at a hs football game the coach is on the sidelines with the players during the anthem (used to be and I would assume still is the case for most) and the stands are sloped so that you really couldn't help but notice-especially if everyone else had their hat or helmet off. And a hs field isn't nearly the size of a pro stadium.
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Old 11-07-2006, 11:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liesje


That's what I was wondering.

My paternal grandpa is a WWII vet. He never talked about it, but I've seen his photos of 2000 rotting corpses stacked like wood or tossed into open mass graves, the crossing of the Rhine, the liberation of Paris, the German SS officials posing for American photos, so desperate to get away from the Nazi party that they willingly surrendered....anyway, ever since gramps died and we've kept his "official" veteran flag on our mantel, the flag has meant a lot more to me.

Personally, there are far more significant issues that bother me each day than whether or not a coach wants to leave his cap on. I can see where the vets are coming from, and I don't think it's the right course of action for the coach to prove his point (whatever his point is), but this act alone certainly doesn't offend me. Honestly, it's more offensive to me when people say "Well the flag/national anthem are just stupid symbols, why should it even matter?" I'd rather have someone REALLY be against something and protesting like this than doing it an then saying "well why should it matter anyway?", if that makes any sense.
I totally get you on this.

It seems like he went to go talk to them, but they ignored him. Kinda looks like he wanted to go explain, but they just pushed him away. I think it is cool that he isn't making any public statements about his views, and that he just wanted to keep it between him and the Vets. But they weren't up to it for some reason.
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Old 11-08-2006, 07:55 AM   #14
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I could care less if this coach takes his hat off or not. Good on him for making a stand b/c, frankly, people often seem more concerned about symbols than actions. Deeds not words, folks. A "ribbon" magnet on your car only says that you bought a ribbon magnet--it's a symbol of patriotism and not the thing itself.

Actually, what really irks my ass is when people don't take their hats off at the dinner table. (I had a strict etiquette upbringing--go figure).
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Old 11-09-2006, 03:36 AM   #15
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Sharon is where I live! I saw this headline, but didn't read the story. I was out to dinner tonight with family and found out the coach is in my town.

My son goes to Sharon high. I'll ask him tomorrow about this story.
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