CROSBY, Texas (AP) — The football coach of a private high school near Houston has thrown two players off the team after one knelt and another raised a fist during the national anthem prior to a game.

Head coach Ronnie Mitchem told the Houston Chronicle that he had an understanding with his players at Victory and Praise Christian Academy in Crosby that they would not protest during the anthem.

Mitchem, a former Marine, says he doesn't oppose acts of protest but says doing so during the anthem is offensive to veterans and others.

After the anthem concluded Friday, he told the two players to remove their uniforms and that they were dismissed from the team.

The mother of one of the players says she supports the players' actions and considered Mitchem's punishment excessive.

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Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com