Cy-Fair Youth Sports Association updates policy on national anthem

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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 taking a stand.

ABC13 originally reported Wednesday night that the Cy-Fair Youth Sports Association was not allowing the anthem to be played before games after speaking with someone in the organization.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Youth football league won't play national anthem in Cy-Fair
View the original story from Wednesday night in the video player above

Thursday, the group's president told Eyewitness News that those were premature discussions amongst leaders and that decisions had not yet been made prior to the ABC13 report.

But now, the organization has decided to penalize anyone who does not stand during the national anthem, which is only played at large events and sporadically by cheerleaders at regular games.

Cy-Fair Youth Sports Association said it does not play the anthem due to the many logistical issues, but they also don't prohibit it from being played prior to a game as long as it is in compliance with their policy, which reads as follows:

"Cy-Fair Sports Association teams may choose to play the National Anthem at the beginning of their games if both Coaches and Officials agree. Additionally, all players, coaches, officials and spectators shall stand and face the flag showing respect for the country, the flag and the National Anthem. Any players, coaches or officials who choose to ignore this rule shall subject themselves and/or their team to punishment that may include expulsion and forfeiture of the game, at the discretion of the Football Committee."

At least one family ABC13 spoke to at games Wednesday night is in agreement with the policy.

"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."

Report a typo to the ABC13 staff

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