This is a disgusting story about a patriotic boy honoring his grandfather, who was killed in the 911 attacks. He’s a New Jersey high school swimmer who was disqualified after his race for wearing an American flag on his swim cap deemed too large by a small-minded rival coach and an even smaller-minded national federation.
The unnamed boy is a 16-year-old sophomore at Morristown High School, who competed with his team on “senior night” against the Parsippany Hills team.
According to Rob Miller, father of the swimmer, the opposing coach complained about the U.S. flag decal after the 200-meter relay event had ended. It was measured and found to exceed regulations by less than an inch. Not only did Morristown get DQ’d in that event, it also lost the swim meet as a result of this pettiness.
The National Federation of State High School Associations Swimming and Diving Rules limits American flags, to 2-3 inches. Isn’t that just utterly ridiculous? The father of the swimmer vented in a Tweet, saying:
Blood is boiling. My son was part of a 200 Free Relay to win a swim meet on Senior Night. After the final event, the opposing coach asked to measure the size of the American Flag on his @SpeedoUSA swim cap. It was 0.2” too large according to standards. DQ’d. They lost.
The swimmer’s dad also said the opposing coach put the burden of the ‘loss’ on a sophomore, letting down all the seniors competing in their final high school dual meet.
No one on the Morristown pointed a finger of blame at young Miller. Instead, the rallied around him and posted an Instagram message of support, saying “everyone knows motown boys were the real winners.”
Mr. Miller said his boy is the bigger person in this controversy:
Thanks very much for the support on my son’s swimming DQ. Tough rule with a harsh penalty, but we’ll learn from this. My son wishes no ill will on the opposing team and just wants everyone to get back to swimming. Hopefully the spirit of this rule can be changed in the future.
It seems like some petty bureaucrats with too much time on their hands have caused unnecessary grief in the lives of young people trying to learn good character in team sports. Adults should not be spoiling it for kids.
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