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CORAOPOLIS, Pa. (AP) — A Pittsburgh-area high school will play its homecoming football game in the afternoon with only players’ parents in attendance due to a backlash over a cheerleaders’ national anthem protest.

Cornell School District Superintendent Aaron Thomas says that Friday night’s game against Shenango will instead be played in the afternoon.

An online video of the Sept. 30 protest sparked outrage and fears of protests at Friday’s game. That’s because the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post provided the color guard on Sept. 30.

Some people accused Thomas of inviting and embarrassing the VFW even though he knew of plans for the protest, which saw most cheerleaders kneel during the anthem.

But Thomas has said he heard only vague rumors of a protest planned for another game and didn’t intend to embarrass the VFW.

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