High school lacrosse player stops personal practice when National Anthem starts playing

WTEN photo

LOUDONVILLE, NY (NEWS10) – As people across the nation protest the National Anthem, a New York student athlete has received attention on social media for stopping to honor the flag.

One of the biggest stories in sports recently has been the National Anthem and the athletes who are choosing to kneel in protest.

On Wednesday, NEWS10 ABC sports anchor Liana Bonavita was at Siena College when she witnessed a student stop practicing when he heard the anthem being played. He was by himself, on a different field, and not part of the event where the anthem was playing.

But he stopped anyway and paid his respect to the flag.

That young man is Brendan Johnson.

“My first reaction was that’s just what you’re supposed to do,” he said.

Johnson was alone taking some shots at Siena when the freshman lacrosse player heard some familiar words.

“You know, ‘Please rise for our National Anthem,’ so I stopped what I was doing and looked at the flag,” he described.

Why did he stop?

“I mean, you know, my grandpa was a World War II veteran, and my uncle went into the world Trade Center on 9/11,” he explained.

His uncle, Joseph Spor, Jr., did not survive. He was a firefighter who is now an inspiration.

“It’s just people have died for this country, and who am I to keep shooting when the anthem is playing?” Johnson said.

The picture Liana took was posted on the NEWS10 ABC Facebook page and received a lot of attention.

“I didn’t know it got that much attention,” Johnson said. “That’s awesome, you know? I’m glad my parents got some attention for it cause it’s something they plugged into me since I was a child. So it’s just really cool. It’s really cool.”

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