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To the editor:

First amendment rights of Utah State University athletes are being infringed upon. I recently attended several USU athletic sporting events and was shocked to see before the anthem began, the athletes leave the floor and head to the locker room, and upon the ending of the anthem the athletes return, yet the majority of the opposing teams stay out on the floor for the anthem.

I realize their has been much controversy surrounding not standing for the flag in recent years, especially this past year with so much social upheaval. I’m guessing Utah State is just trying to avoid any further conflicts or controversy by not allowing their athletes out on the floor during the anthem. However, this is taking away the athletes first amendment rights by not allowing them the choice whether to stand for the flag or not stand for the flag.

Many men and women have bravely given their lives for this country and the God given right to freedom of speech and to choose for themselves. The Spectrum was named after Dee Glen Smith who served in the military. I feel it is a great dishonor to him and other veterans in the valley who have attended USU and who have supported Utah State Athletics.

It is my hope that Utah State will consider how they are handling this very sensitive subject and realize they need to make a change and allow the athletes of Utah State to express their first amendment right, however they may choose to display it.

Kathy Labonte


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