GREENVILLE, Miss. — A Mississippi school district leader says two football players won’t be punished for kneeling during the national anthem.

Superintendent Larry Green of the Western Line School District tells The Associated Press on Friday that the O’Bannon High School students will be allowed to play, if the coach chooses to put them into the games.

Green had told local news outlets earlier this week that players who kneeled before a Sept. 30 game had been suspended from play and that the “punishment” was “adequate for what happened.”

Green told AP Friday that his reference to punishment was “a poor choice of words.”

Democratic State Sen. Derrick Simmons of Greenville said students have a constitutional right to peacefully protest.

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