Marysville, Ohio – Police, Fire, EMT, and Military versions of the American flag were visible in a picture from the Marysville High School football team. It wasn’t an official photo, it was paid for by a booster group. That didn’t stop complainers who viewed it as …you guessed it, “racist,” and against Black Lives Matter.
Green stripe: Military
Red Stripe: Firefighter
Blue stripe: Law Enforcement
White stripe: EMT
The photo also had the Ohio flag as well as the American flag.
The photo, taken by Robin Thompson of Robin’s Views Studios, was paid for the Monarch Quarterback Club. The backlash occurred not just on social media, but to the media outlet that shared the photo. So far, however, the response from the school and photographer has been exactly what it should be: supportive of the students who have first responders and military in their families.
“Intent can’t always be measured or evaluated in a picture, it’s also important to recognize that a symbol or a flag can mean one thing to you and one thing to the person standing beside you.” Diane Allen, School Superintendent
The photographer who took the photo is upset as well. Robin Thompson posted on Facebook, asking, “When did we stop seeing things through a lens of love and just see things through a lens of hate and division?… When did we decide to accuse instead of embrace?”
Thompson said the photo is not meant to be a political statement and that some of the team members have loved ones who serve as first responders.”
It was never meant to promote one group over another. It was meant to say ‘Thank you,’ she wrote. “I am sorry if you could not see the intent. But I assure you, the intent is love.”
The ridiculousness of “backlash” against the Marysville high school football photo reeks of an atttempt to destroy students’ hearts over a bad case of asshat-itis. The complainers’ intent is to intimidate and manipulate – Robin Thompson is correct: they are seeing every through the lens of hate and division. And that agenda has only one place to be thrown: a garbage dumpster.
Robin also commented:
I am the photographer. My slogan, my hashtag, the words I live by are “the best day ever”. Today my photo did not bring “the best day ever” to a lot of people. It made my community divide and take sides and call names. It caused hurt and tears. If you know me, you know that I would never ever want that nor would I intentionally take a photo meant to cause that. When did we change our lens? When did we stop seeing things through a lens of love and just see things through a lens of hate and division? When did we decide to assume instead of understand? When did we decide to accuse instead of embrace? Here are the facts as I know them…because I was there. I was there when the photo was planned and I took the photo. This is NOT a political photo nor a political statement of any kind. If you are trying to make it into that, it is because you are making assumptions. Please stop. No more assumptions. This photo and the theme surrounding it was decided up on by our football seniors. Please stop bashing the school and the administrators. Each of these flags represents someone…a loved one that is currently serving our community. Many of these boys have mothers and fathers that are first responders. A couple of them have brothers that are actively deployed oversees. One of their teammates, Jagger, left for the Army 5 days prior to this photo being taken. He graduated early and left his friends and school behind so that he could serve. This photo is to honor Jagger as well as so many others. It was never meant to promote one group over another. It was meant to say “Thank you”. I am sorry if you could not see the intent. But I assure you, the intent is love. If you know me…and most of you do….even some of the people that are posting hateful things about my photo…you know me…I did your senior photos too! This photo represents love. Not hate. Each of us needs to stop reacting and start understanding. Start here. Start with this. Start thinking to yourself…”what if the senior holding the flag with the green line, is honoring his brother who is serving oversees”. And for the other side bashing the original commentator, what if you say to yourself, “what has this person been through to see this picture and feel pain?” Stop assuming. Change your lens. Lets get back to the best day ever. I love my town. I love these boys. I love this school. It means everything to me. Please come together.
Featured photo: screenshot of Robin’s picture