FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4)– The Poudre Valley School District will not allow football players to wear the names of fallen military veterans on their jerseys during an upcoming game.
The decision to keep the football team at Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins from wearing the names has upset some students and parents.
The idea was part of a year-long initiative to honor fallen veterans. The players had planned to wear the names of fallen heroes on their jerseys during a game in October for Military Appreciation Day.
“Frankly I think they’re making the wrong decision,” said Lt. Col. Randy Russell.
Russell said he’s disappointed in the decision by the Poudre Valley School District that will keep his son and his teammates from honoring the veterans they’ve been researching.
“If I live in a country where we cannot honor our war dead by memorializing them on the back of a jersey, that’s not the country that I grew up in,” said Russell.
Players with the Fossil Ridge Sabercats spent the summer in military-like training and education. They were required to research the family and background of a deceased member of the armed forces and honor that veteran by wearing the name on their jerseys.
The school district has a different idea.
“So the Fossil Ridge High School football team will be wearing camouflage jerseys and camouflage pants at a special game in honor of military recognition,” said Edie Eckles, a spokeswoman with the Poudre Valley School District.
Eckles would not address why the names will not be allowed on the jerseys.
“I don’t see this as a cause, rather I see it as part of that flag. And the freedom that we have has been fought for through the blood and the sacrifice of those who we’re honoring,” said Russell.