High school football player stands for national anthem day after ACL surgery

HURST, Texas — A Texas high school football player made a powerful statement of his own about the importance of the national anthem.

As reported by the Dallas Morning News, Hurst L.D. Bell High School junior Vita Tonga stood at the head of the Bell sideline, directly in front of his wheelchair before the team’s game on Saturday.

This came only 24 hours after he had ACL surgery in his right knee on Friday.

“I didn’t really think about it,” Tonga told the Dallas Morning News. “People give their lives just so I can stand up over here in the United States. So therefore I feel as as an American citizen I should stand.”

Tonga’s decision to stand during the anthem came despite his teammates and coaches encouraging him to sit and rest.