WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - While athletes across the country are holding silent protest during the national anthem before games, local high school football official Jeff Hibbert is doing the same.
In each of the past two games, Hibbert has knelt on one knee during the playing of the national anthem at the games he has worked.
"It was a tough decision but I wanted to make a statement locally and to generate some conversation here," Hibbert said.
For Hibbert, it's a topic that hits close to home. Just last year when coming home from a football game, he was pulled over and feared for his own life.
"When he pulled me, he had his pistol and said put your hands where I can see them," Hibbert explained. "When I tell you I was truly frightened, I was frightened."
Hibbert hopes that actions taken by athletes and himself can cause change and save lives.
"I must say I have a pretty good son and I worry about that. And I have to teach him what to do. And I hope it's enough to save his life," Hibbert said.
Hibbert said that some of his fellow officials support his decision while others don't. But hasn't felt any public backlash. He also hasn't heard from the NCHSAA about the issue.