Mission Viejo football coach Bob Johnson wasn’t sure the talk with his players was absolutely necessary but he and one of his assistants held it anyway.
Earlier this week, the veteran coach addressed the possibility of protests by players Friday night, Sept. 29, when the Diablos host El Toro for their annual Armed Forces game, which honors military veterans. The game starts at 7 p.m.
Johnson’s message: No protests and respect the veterans.
“We had a very strong talk with them (the players), and it’s not that they needed it,” said Johnson. “I don’t know that but I was taking no chances.
“We will not have anything going on (with player protests). We will not allow it. And there will be consequences if they (do) … We have these things every year and they’re beautiful.
“There’s a time and a place for everything. They can do all the stuff they want to do outside of here, but with our occasion, it’s respecting the vets.”
The NFL has recently seen protests by players kneeling during the national anthem over issues such as police brutality and race relations. President Trump criticized the NFL players with a series of tweets but protests this week have spread to high school sports.
Johnson has a long association with the NFL as a father and private quarterback coach but hopes not to see similar protests at the high school level.
“I’m totally against it,” said Johnson, whose son and assistant coach, Rob, played in the NFL for Jacksonville, Buffalo and Tampa Bay among others. “(Other schools) can handle it the way they want to handle it.”
Mission Viejo’s Armed Forces event begins well before Friday. The Diablos’ players write letters of appreciation to military veterans. A grassy bank on the Mission Viejo campus is…