GREENVILLE, Miss. — A Mississippi lawmaker says he is “appalled” that some high school football players are being punished for kneeling during the national anthem.

Local news outlets report that some players for O’Bannon High School have been indefinitely suspended from games because they didn’t stand during the anthem before a game Sept. 30 in Clarksdale.

Democratic State Sen. Derrick Simmons of Greenville said Thursday that the students have a constitutional right to peacefully protest and they should not be punished for kneeling.

Larry Green, superintendent of the Western Line School District, did not immediately Thursday return calls from The Associated Press.

Some NFL players and other athletes have been kneeling to protest racial inequality.