(TheBlaze) – A Louisiana high school principal is under fire after a text he allegedly sent saying that football players should stand for the national anthem or quit the team. Rob Howle — principal of Liberty High School in Baton Rouge — is on administrative leave after allegedly texting a suggestion to make it “mandatory that the players stand for the national anthem or this team will never get [any more] support from the administration,” WBRZ-TV reported.

The station said a handful of students took a knee during the anthem at the first game. WBRZ added that the text in question also said “that was embarrassing. Playing football is a privilege not a right. If they don’t want to stand they can turn in their equipment and we will refund their money.”

An image of the text message, dated Oct. 1, was posted on social media and came to the attention of the East Baton Rouge Parish school system on Thursday, the Advocate reported. Taylor Gast, a spokeswoman for the school system, told the Advocate the message appears to be real and that the recipient of the text also works for the school system — but Gast would not identify that individual.

The Advocate also said the district issued a statement Thursday saying it launched an investigation and that “… as a result, an administrator has been placed on administrative leave.” Gast identified the administrator as Howle, the outlet said, adding that Howle did not return a message seeking comment. MORE

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