The young men who play basketball for the Lower Merion High School team have certainly made their parents, teachers, coaches and neighbors proud.
The Pennsylvania basketball team won its Central League championship the other night. That’s a very big deal even in a place where there has been lots of basketball success. The kids must have been thrilled with the victory.
But what made the game even better was what the Aces were wearing during the warm ups and National Anthem.
You see, these young men had been upset about the attacks on immigrants, Muslims and women. They were worried about the rolling back of civil rights. They wanted to make a point, to state their solidarity with those who have been feeling marginalized and afraid.
Earlier in the season that had tried a quiet protest during the playing of the National Anthem, either sitting or taking a knee instead of standing with hand over heart.
The response that they got was not entirely positive. And the players felt that they wanted to express a more positive statement. They wanted to show what and who it is that they support.
After meeting to talk it over, the team designed a black T-shirt with white lettering. It reads:
I am a Muslim. I am a refugee. I am an immigrant. I am an American. I am an Ace.”
Perfect. These boys understand the importance of standing up for what they believe. They understand the importance of not remaining silent in the face of prejudice and discrimination.
The team plans to market the Tshirts soon. All of the proceeds will go to the American Civil Liberties Union.
What a wonderful symbol of American values. The kids are alright.
Featured image by Pete Bannon, Digital First Media.