SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- It's happening in the NFL, but it's also something that has been discussed on the local level: protesting during the national anthem.
South Portland Head Football Coach Steve Stinson says it's a conversation school officials have been having for a while, and their answer is to continue to have an open dialogue with players.
If a player decides not to stand and place his hand over his heart, Coach Stinson hopes that player would feel comfortable talking to him and the rest of the team about the reasoning behind his decision.
"We certainly talk about it when we go over our protocol for the national anthem," says Coach Stinson. "You have to be able to respect someone's choice if they decide to peacefully protest really anything. It's the right we have as Americans."
Stinson says teens are not immune to what they've seen on TV and social media, especially when it comes to athletes they looks up to. Patriots players like Brandin Cooks and Devin McCourty were among the more than a dozen Pats players kneeling during the anthem before Sunday's game. Tom Brady locked arms with his teammate, Phillip Dorsett.
On Monday, Brady spoke out about President Trump's comments and tweets about protests during the national anthem, calling them divisive.
"I certainly disagree with what he said, and I think it's divisive, and I just want to support my teammates," says Brady. "I'm never one to say that's wrong or that's right, but I do believe in what I believe in."
Some teams chose to protest as a whole. The Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans and the Pittsburgh Steelers didn't come out to the field for the anthem. The NFL said Monday those teams will not be punished for their actions.