Kneeling, sitting or any other form of protest probably won't happen during the national anthem at Fountain-Fort Carson football games.

Instead, the Trojans stand with their helmets under their left arms and right arms across their chests.

First-year coach Jake Novotny made sure his players knew that before the Trojans' Sept. 2 season opener.

On Tuesday, the Denver Post reported that some football players at Aurora Central have been kneeling during the anthem for their first three games and plan to continue doing so.

Many of Novotny's players have parents who serve or served in the military, and standing for the national anthem is the only option.

"It's a little different down here," said Novotny, whose father is a 30-year veteran of the Denver Police Department and whose younger sister is now also with the Denver Police.

"Ninety percent of my kids here, their parents served (in the military) and I don't think it's crossed any of their minds to disrespect the flag or the country in that way. Whether it's to prove a point or not, they wouldn't do that. It's one of those things, we don't have to fight that battle here."

The kneeling (or sitting) during the anthem was started by San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick before the preseason game against Green Bay on Aug. 26 in protest of what Kaepernick said are injustices to African-Americans and other minorities.

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told NFL Media after the game.

Other NFL players, including the Broncos' Brandon Marshall, have chosen to kneel, as have players in other sports.

Novotny, who also served in law enforcement before moving into coaching, said the issue has never come up with the Trojans, who have the presentation of the colors before home games.

"Every single one of them knows somebody or lives with somebody that serves in the military," he said.

Novotny also was quick to point out he understands Americans' rights to free speech and to protest, as guaranteed by the Constitution. But he'd rather see a protest take place elsewhere.

Kaepernick's protest came a week before the Trojans' opener. The momentum had yet to build, but it was definitely a topic of conversation.

"I told them that's not how we do it here at Fountain," Novotny said. "That's not the Trojan way. We're a team.

"We're all going to stand, we're all going to respect the flag. I told them, for us it's a way to think about the people who've sacrificed for us. A lot of them, their parents have sacrificed for us to do what we're about to go do, play a game of football."

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