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Watch: High School Athletes Dropped from Football Team after Pride Flag-Burning Post

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Wednesday June 19, 2019

Two high school football players in Kearns, Utah, have been dropped "indefinitely" from their football team after a Snapchat post in which a Pride flag was burned while threatening anti-LGBTQ sentiments were voiced, reports local newspaper the Salt Lake Tribune.

Local news channel Fox13 reports that the Snapchat video was posted by one of the players who was subsequently dismissed from the team.

Local news station KSLTV reported that the student who posted the video is an incoming freshman. He had not played with the team prior to facing disciplinary measures for the video.

The video, which is reportedly "circulating on social media," shows a Pride flag burning as someone in the background declares, "All gays die."

A spokesperson for the school district told KSL that the situation was "unique" in that it had not taken place on school property and the threat was not directed at any specific individual.

"However, they were posting something on social media that could potentially have a detrimental impact on the school environment," the spokesperson, Ben Horsely, added, "which is why we have the ability and the necessity to take action in this particular case."

Media reports indicated that the video was also being investigated by the police.

Multiple instances of Pride flags being torched have been in the news lately. Earlier this month an arsonist took a lighter to the Pride banners hung outside a Harlem gay nightspot. Last month in Baltimore, firebugs struck an LGBTQ-themed shop in Baltimore, burning its Pride flag even as an episode of a gay talk show was being filmed inside.

In an especially bizarre episode, Paul Kalchik, an anti-LGBTQ Catholic priest in Chicago conducted what he characterized as an "exorcism" rite that included the incineration of a Pride flag belonging to the church. The flag had been displayed by an LGBTQ-friendly predecessor. Kalchik had been ordered by the diocese not to destroy the flag, but he did so anyway after cutting the flag into pieces.

Defending his insubordinate actions, Kalchik said, "What have we done wrong other than destroy a piece of propaganda that was used to put out a message other than what the church is about?"

KSLTV reported that it has not yet been determined whether the high school football players will also face "academic" discipline. Watch the KSLTV news clip below.