DAYTON, Ohio (FOX19) - Two Little Miami football players who gained national attention when they were suspended from their team after they ran onto the field with thin blue line and thin red line flags during a game joined President Donald Trump onstage at his rally near Toledo.
They also said the Pledge of Allegiance at a private campaign event for Trump earlier in the day near Dayton.
Brady Williams and Jarad Bentley came up at Trump’s “Great American Comeback Event” in Swanton as the president praised law enforcement, describing them as “very brave people.”
Then, Trump called out to the teens: “Come up here.”
The crowd cheered and the president congratulated the football players.
“Do you feel good about it?” Trump asked them, referring to the flag incident.
“Yes,” they responded.
When Trump asked how their football team was doing, one of them admitted: “It could be better."
“You know what?” Trump asked. “You’re doing great. And everybody out here loves you and appreciates you!”
The crowd cheered.
He wished the teens luck and called them “good guys.”
The crowd chanted “USA!”
“So Jared and Brady, thank you for supporting the heroes in our law enforcement,” Trump said. “And thank your parents for letting you do it.”
Williams and Bentley first drew national attention when they took the field carrying the flags during their game against Turpin High School. The game fell on the 19th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.
A spokesperson for Little Miami Schools said the players had asked for permission in advance and were denied. They were suspended the following Monday.
Those suspensions were overturned the next day by the Little Miami School District, whose investigation reportedly found the players' statement was not political in nature.
Williams and Bentley spoke to FOX19 NOW about their actions last week.
They said they were surprised by the national response but insisted the focus should remain on remembering the 9/11 first responders.
“I don’t want politics brought into this because I don’t want that on our names for what we did,” said Williams.