A political and emotional brush fire is smoldering within a grieving Chicago Fire Department over a national anthem protest during a charity football game dedicated to the memory of two fallen Chicago heroes.
Camron McGarity, an African-American firefighter, kneeled while the Star Spangled Banner was being played before the CFD Blaze faced off against the Chicago Police Department's Enforcers last Saturday in the eighth annual "First Responders Bowl."
A photo of the protest clearly shows the firefighter, wearing the No. 7 jersey, kneeling on the sidelines while players on both sides stood at attention dressed in bright red jerseys and matching red pants.
Fired Chicago Police Superintendent-turned-mayoral-challenger Garry McCarthy, who was at the game at Brother Rice High School on the Southwest Side, said the solo protest generated "grumbling" among the crowd of roughly 1,000, in part, because the game was dedicated to the memory of slain 18th District Commander Paul Bauer and former dive team member Juan Bucio, who died during a Memorial Day rescue on the Chicago River.
Chicago Sun-Times sources said teammates who were offended have discussed kicking McGarrity off the team next season.
For more, check chicago.suntimes.com.