Youth football league won't play national anthem in Cy-Fair

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Parents said the focus should be on football, not politics.

Controversy over the NFL national anthem protests may seem far separated from children's sports in the Houston area, but one youth league is putting a stop to any potential issues by canceling the anthem before their games.

Starting Saturday, the national anthem won't be allowed at youth games, according to leaders with the Cy-Fair Youth Sports Association. The change is an effort to prevent controversy in case people choose to use the anthem for political displays, they said.

The anthem is only played at large events and sporadically by cheerleaders at regular games.

The general consensus from families ABC13 spoke to at games Wednesday night is that the policy change is a solution in search of a problem.

"I understand freedom of speech, you know, but it's just ridiculous. Everybody's making a big deal out of nothing." parent Brian Passmore said.

"Just play and let them have fun. Worry about playing football. That's what it's about at this age. Have fun," spectator Henry Douglas said.

"It's taught since you were in school to respect the flag, respect national anthem," parent Sergio Santiago said. "I'll keep teaching my son it's important."

Colin Kaepernick's NFL protest of kneeling during the national anthem started more than a year ago and there were no problems in Cy-Fair, according to parents.

President Trump tweeted about the protest last week and a Cy-Fair Youth Sports Association leader said they're now afraid the Star Spangled Banner is too politically divisive.

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