MONROE, N.J. (AP) — A father and son who were to officiate a high school football game Friday night walked off the field after members of one team knelt during the national anthem.

Ernie and Anthony Lunardelli said they told officials from Colts Neck and Monroe high schools before the game they would not work if any players protested. They were replaced by two officials in training after four Monroe players took a knee on their home field.

The two officials told they respect the players’ right to protest, but they believe such acts are disrespectful. The pair stood on the field with their hands on their hearts while the anthem was played, then left immediately.

“What they are doing with this kneeling and everything, they have the right do to that, but the national anthem has nothing to do with them kneeling,” said Ernie Lunardelli, who is in his 18th season of officiating scholastic football games. “The flag has got nothing to do with why they are protesting. If they want to protest, let them protest, but don’t disrespect our country, the flag and the Armed Forces.”

Ernie Lunardelli was scheduled to work the game as the head linesman, while his son was to be a line judge.

The newspaper reported that Monroe High School Athletic Director Greg Beyer declined comment on the officials’ decision not to work the game. He said it is school district policy to permit players to protest peacefully.

Officials who oversee the referees declined to speculate on what action, if any, would be taken against the Lunardellis if either school files a complaint over their refusal to work the game.

Follow @CBSBaltimore on Twitter and like WJZ-TV | CBS Baltimore on Facebook

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (4)
  1. Chris Cheney says:

    Erin is complete moron he speaks of thee right yet in the conustititon is what are men and women fought for and died for… not a flag in fact if you really want to get down and understand it… you also know the naitonal anthem is racist… i am so sick and tired of blind americans on this issue it has nothing to do with flag? it has everything to do about american blacks or whoever cannot protest no matter what they do in streets they called riot gangs and racist. they do protest kneeing its wrong… there no win win for them its tiring and i am sick of it i stand up for flag cause i choose to do so if my parnter or anyone who was my friend was kneeing guess what i 100% support there right

  2. Exactly how is the National Anthem racists.

  3. Kevin Miller says:

    Does anyone really expect uneducated people from New Jersey to respect anyone? They certainly would not respect their fathers if they ever had the opportunity to meet them by going on the Maury show.

  4. Earl Tilman says:

    They have the right to refuse just as the idiots who kneel thin they have that right. Lets see thoe four go out and do more than kneel during our anthem.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s