Abilene Wylie denies rumors Lubbock ISD ordered football players to stay in locker room for anthem

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — On Monday, the athletic director and head football coach at Abilene Wylie High School sent a letter to Lubbock ISD superintendent Kathy Rollo to “clear up any misunderstanding,” about recent viral social media posts.

Clay Martin sent the letter following an October 2 football game between Monterey High School and Abilene Wylie.

Several social media posts circulated after the game and claimed Lubbock ISD did not allow Abilene Wylie players to come out of the locker rooms during the national anthem. A zoomed-in photo taken at Lowrey Field at Plains Capital Park that was attached to the original post showed football players lined up at the end of the field.

One of the posts on Facebook about the incident had more than 1,000 shares and over 600 reactions.

However, Martin said at no time did anyone from Lubbock ISD suggest or mention that Abilene Wylie players were not allowed to leave the locker rooms for the national anthem.

“The decision that was made to leave the dressing room for the National Anthem was not in any way meant to cause controversy on social medial or in any other way,” he said. “Our athletes simply asked to step outside for the playing of the National Anthem.”

Martin went on to apologize and said the actions were taken out of context.

“I believe Lubbock ISD has absolutely no responsibility in the backlash that it is receiving,” he said. “It is unfortunate that people who are not even involved in the game can sway public opinion through social media, and cause undue stress on others.”

Read the full letter by Clay Martin below:

I am the Athletic Director and head football coach as Abilene Wylie High School. I am sending this letter in reference to inaccurate posts that have been made on social media regarding the National Anthem before our game versus Lubbock Monterey.

At no time did anyone from Lubbock Independent School District suggest or even mention that we were not allowed to be present during the National Anthem. Lubbock ISD’s Athletic Department communicated to us that the playing of the National Anthem ten minutes before the game was typical game day procedure for Lubbock ISD. The decision that was made to leave the dressing room for the National Anthem was not in any way meant to cause controversy on social medial or in any other way. Our athletes simply asked to step outside for the playing of the National Anthem.

The Lubbock ISD Athletic Department, met us at the gate and was, as always, extremely professional. They communicated all procedures in detail to us and were very pro-active in the planning and communicating for our game.

I deeply apologize that people have taken our actions out of context. I believe Lubbock ISD has absolutely no responsibility in the backlash that it is receiving. It is unfortunate that people who are not even involved in the game can sway public opinion through social media, and cause undue stress on others. I hope this letter clears up any misunderstanding about our position and also represents our on-going respect for Lubbock ISD, their Athletic Department and its employees.

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