Allen Joyner is the pastor who volunteered as a high school football announcer in McKenzie, Alabama. But as we’ve covered on this site already, that changed after last Friday’s game, when he was quoted as saying “If you don’t want to stand for the National Anthem, you can line up over there by the fence and let our military personnel take a few shots AT you since they’re taking shots FOR you.”
He has since put out a statement explaining he was taken completely out of context. What he actually said was, “If you don’t want to stand for the National Anthem, please go sit at the baseball field and let some of our folks take a shot at reminding you of the price our military paid for your freedom to sit.” (That’s still an inappropriate thing to say, but it’s obviously not the same as calling for dissenters to be murdered.)
He explained this in great detail yesterday on WAAO TV:
We learned a few new details in that interview that I haven’t seen reported elsewhere: There is no known recording of his comments at the game, his family has received several threats (which is obviously horrible), and he regrets resigning from his voluntary position as quickly as he did.
I listened to the whole thing, but I’m still left with several unanswered questions that I feel are worth asking. I raised some of them the other day.
1) If Joyner was misquoted on Facebook, how did the poster get his comments so wrong? It wasn’t just a misinterpretation of the word “shot”; the entire statement was different.
2) Why didn’t Joyner correct the record as soon as he read the viral Facebook post?
3) Why did Joyner’s family members and relatives share the original post and praise him for his alleged (violent) words? Did none of the people who know him best stop for a moment and think, “That doesn’t sound like him…”?
4) Why did he think it was appropriate to say anything about what the crowd should or shouldn’t do while working as a school representative?
5) Why does Joyner think patriotism requires forced participation in certain rituals? On the flip side, why aren’t all those people kneeling during the Anthem — the ones who want to see this country fix its problems — equally patriotic?
I’ve sent these questions to Joyner along with an invitation to chat with me on the podcast. I’m not sure if he’ll respond, but without those answers, his version of the story still doesn’t sit well with me.