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The LHSAA on Thursday said that it will continue to leave the decision of setting a policy for protesting during the national anthem at high school athletic events up to individual schools and school boards, a stance the agency also took last year.

In a memo, LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine said that any decisions related to individual and/or team demonstrations during the national anthem “will be determined by each individual member school and/or member school’s school district.”

Bonine released a similar memo with the same statement in September 2016.

Last year, a few Louisiana high school athletes took a knee during the national anthem, inspired by the example of Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback who began kneeling during the anthem at NFL games.

President Donald Trump's criticism of NFL players who protest during the national anthem last week incited a mass increase in such activism Sunday. More than 200 NFL players took a knee or sat during the anthem in a league-wide protest of racial inequality. Other NFL teams linked arms with each other, and sometimes with their owner, and three teams — the Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans — stayed in the locker room during the anthem.

Read the full LHSAA statement below. 

"The LHSAA is a principal's organization whereas in these situations the LHSAA Rules and Regulations do not take precedence. Therefore, any/all decisions related to individual(s), and/or team(s) expression(s) exhibited during any pre-event National Anthem at LHSAA regular season and/or post season game, match, meet or contest, will be determined by each individual member school and/or member school's school district."