Texas high school football player stands for national anthem days after surgery

HURST, Texas — Photos of NFL players refusing to stand during the national anthem have been going viral for weeks, including Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, but it’s a photo of a high school player — standing despite the pain — that’s making the rounds on Twitter.

Hurst L.D. Bell High School junior Vita Tonga had ACL surgery on Friday.

He was on the sidelines just a day later, in a wheelchair, but when it came time for the anthem, Tonga took a stand.

“People give their lives just so I can stand up over here in the United States so, therefore, I feel as an American citizen, I should stand,” he said.