- Associated Press - Saturday, September 10, 2016

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The national debate sparked by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protests during performances of “The Star Spangled Banner” has permeated down to high school sports programs in Maine.

A South Portland high school athletic director tweeted about the proper way to show respect during the anthem, but later agreed such displays of respect are voluntary.

Athletic Administrator Todd Livingston tells the Portland Press Herald (https://bit.ly/2cLg4BJ ) he wanted teams to look good and behave appropriately when addressing the flag.

Senior Ellen Stanton emailed Principal Ryan Caron with a reminder that reactions to the national anthem are voluntary, just as participation in the Pledge of Allegiance is.

Livingston says he concluded that if someone chooses not to stand with his or her team during the anthem, it’s up to them.

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