U.S. Veteran Was Punished for Leaving the Game After One Of the Players Knelt

All Americans should respect veterans, despite their political views. They’ve risked their lives so we could live in safe and free society.

But sadly, not all people understand this, one veteran was punished for leaving a game after one of the players knelt during the national anthem

67-year-old Air Force veteran Jim Saddler, who also served as a flight attendant for Air Force One when Ronald Reagan was president, was punished for leaving the game.

Saddler is working as an usher at Indiana Pacers games, and also has a part-time job as a referee at high school softball, basketball and volleyball.

He was working as a referee at the school volleyball game at North Central High School October 9, when he noticed some fans sitting during the anthem. He decided to ignore it and not make a big deal out of it, but then one player decided to kneel and that was just too much for the veteran who decided to leave the game. He left the referee flag on the table and told the coach he was not planning on working while someone disrespected America. He left $20 to return his salary.

 High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) then informed him that he has been suspended for one year. Saddler is outraged and has no idea why he is the one being punished, but also apologized for letting his displeasure get the better of him.

“In the Air Force, you have a duty, and you do it. The same with sporting events. I guess I went AWOL. I feel bad about it,” Saddler said, and explaining that “What they did just upset me so badly that I just could not stay there.”

Seeing a player showing disrespect just disappointed him.

“I know it’s her constitutional right to do what she wants to do. And it wasn’t fair to the other girls who were standing and respecting the flag. After I thought about it, you know, sometimes it takes you a little time to sit down and think about stuff and what you did. And after I thought about it, I would never ever do that again,” Saddler said. “I would never break a contract.”

Even though he apologized to IHSAA they said there is no way of returning to the job before the suspension ends.

“I don’t think the IHSAA (cared) about what I said or what I did or that I said I wouldn’t do it again. Here I am a retired veteran, you have to see my point of view of what I did. Right?” he asked.

Paul Loggan, the North Central athletic director, said Saddler is a great employee who hasn’t caused any problems in the past, but he stands by his decision.

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