Seaside haka dance

 The Haka dance has been a ritual at Seaside before each football game for nearly a decade.
 Yet, a misconception arose during last Friday's game at King City that players for the Spartans were following the lead of a handful of NFL players' protest of racial injustice during the national anthem.
 Not true.
 "I would never disrespect the flag,'' Seaside coach Al Avila said. "If we had known the anthem was going to be played, my kids would have waited, lined up in a straight line and faced the flag.''
 The Spartans were in the middle of their Haka dance, facing the Seaside crowd when the national anthem began.
 "There was no announcement,'' Avila insisted. "At least, we didn't hear it.''
 Avila and his staff quickly got together and took their hats off. One assistant coach, who has served two tours of duty in Iraq, immediately stopped the dance.
 However, players for Seaside remained bent over with their arms out, facing the home crowd, which was to the left of the flag pole.
 "The kids were respecting the bylaws of the Dojo culture,'' Avila said. "You are not supposed to move. We were not disrespecting the flag. Do you know how hard that was for them to remain in that position for that long?''
 When the anthem ended, the players resumed the dance.
 Avila pointed out that several of his players on the team have dads or moms that have served in the military.
 "I wish people would have just asked us instead of trying to air dirty laundry,'' Avila said. "I take that personally. Shame on them.''

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