Tarek Fattal

Los Angeles Each day Information

Many within the Saugus Excessive soccer group — mother and father, college students and supporters — wore T-shirts that displayed the “Skinny Blue Line” American flag throughout the again and the phrases “THE BLUE HAD OUR BACKS NOW WE BACK YOURS!!” on the entrance Friday evening.

The gesture was in response to the staff being informed it may now not run onto the sphere earlier than video games carrying the “skinny blue line” model of American flag. The choice in the end got here from Saugus head coach Jason Bornn, in response to William S. Hart Unified College District superintendent Mike Kuhlman.

“In deference to (Bornn’s) dedication to inclusivity, kindness and respect (simply loving folks), and since the staff by no means voted as a unit to hold this banner, Coach determined to discontinue this follow,” mentioned Kuhlman’s launch to the group on Sept. 28.

The phrases “skinny blue line” is a reference adopted by regulation enforcement professionals within the Nineteen Fifties to signify their braveness and sacrifice whereas defending the American folks. The “Skinny Blue Line” emblem was established to represent all regulation enforcement personnel, just like the Crimson Cross image representing all medical personnel, in response to FlagsofValor.com, an organization that sells flags and helps veterans.

Nonetheless, the flag has develop into controversial. Its use has grown as a response to the Black Lives Matter motion that protested police violence. Some nonetheless see it as a logo of solidarity with regulation enforcement, and others see it as a logo of white supremacy. It’s been utilized by folks representing each teams.

“Listed below are two statements which might be true in regards to the Hart District: 1) We assist regulation enforcement and deeply recognize their work to maintain our group protected. 2) We foster a tradition of inclusivity, kindness and respect,” Kuhlman wrote in his assertion. “The controversy has generated robust emotions on all sides of this situation. Most of the loudest voices seem like suggesting that we should select to assist one or the opposite of those two statements – as if they’re on reverse sides of a political spectrum. I’d prefer to counsel that it’s potential for our group to actively assist each statements listed above.”

For a lot of members of the Saugus group, the “Skinny Blue Line” flag correlates instantly with the varsity capturing that occurred on Nov. 14, 2019, which resulted in three deaths. The seniors on the faculty now have been freshmen that fall.

Todd Cataldi, who’s a retired police officer and whose son performs on the Saugus soccer staff, was sporting one of many T-shirts Friday evening as Saugus performed Hart Excessive at School of the Canyons.

“It’s unlucky,” Cataldi mentioned in regards to the staff ending its routine of carrying the “Skinny Blue Line” flag because it runs onto the sphere. “These youngsters went by so much once they have been freshmen with the varsity capturing, and there are a number of youngsters on the staff whose mother and father work in regulation enforcement and are first responders and wish to present their assist for them.”

In a current Fb publish, native Santa Clarita Valley resident Duncan Mandel insisted the varsity district do one thing about Saugus operating onto the sphere with the flag.

“There may be completely no cause for this picture to be carried out onto the sphere by gamers or used on cheer blocks,” the publish learn. “Get loud. What message are we sending to our youngsters if we sit again and permit this divisiveness to proceed. Do one thing! That is merely not a First Modification situation.”

Saugus final carried the flag onto the sphere Sept. 23 towards West Ranch. The staff didn’t run out with the flag towards Hart.

“I feel our boys ought to have the ability to signify their relations which might be law enforcement officials and first responders that got here out and put their lives on the road on that dreadful day,”  mentioned Saugus mother or father Lorri Moore, alluding to the varsity capturing. “I feel it ought to’ve been mentioned and voted on.”

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