High school football player in wheelchair stands for national anthem: It 'was the right thing to do'

OREM, Utah -- Photos of a high school football player in a wheelchair standing up for the national anthem are going viral.

The photos were tweeted on Saturday by Riley Jensen, a coach at Alta High School in Utah. The photos show #65 bracing himself with one arm while leaning on the chair during the national anthem.

According to KSTU, the boy in the wheelchair is 16-year-old Carson Geddes, a junior at Orem High School. Carson said he'd just had surgery the day before but felt like standing was the right thing to do.

"Standing up was a little hard, so I had to lean on my wheelchair a little bit, definitely wasn't feeling too good by the end of the song," Carson told Fox 13.

"It was hurting pretty bad that night, right after surgery, so I didn't feel too good. But I felt like I just should stand up, like that was the right thing to do."

Carson said he needed surgery to repair a hernia. He said despite the pain, he felt compelled to show support for his country.

"I'm really patriotic.... that's probably the main reason, just because I love my country and I really respect the people who fight to keep our country the way it is, and for our flag,  so it's just out of respect for those people."

His mother, Liesha, said she and Carson's father wanted him to stay home for the day, but he insisted on attending the game.

"He's very, very patriotic, he wants to be in the military after he graduates and serves a mission for our church," she said. "And he is very passionate, he loves politics and he loves his country, so, we weren't surprised."

Alta beat Orem 47-28 in Friday night's game.

Here in Western Washington, the entire Garfield High School football team, including the coaches, took a knee during the national anthem Friday night before their game against West Seattle High on Friday night to protest “social injustices.” Read more >>