Sandmann gained international attention after a video of him apparently harassing a Native American protestor at the Indigenous People's March in Washington went viral. He was in Washington on 18 January on a field trip with his school Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky, at the March For Life protest.
Since it went viral, Covington Catholic High School and the Diocese of Covington released a joint statement:
We condemn the actions of the Covington Catholic High School students towards Nathan Phillips specifically, and Native Americans in general, Jan. 18, after the March for Life, in Washington, D.C.
We extend our deepest apologies to Mr. Phillips. This behavior is opposed to the Church’s teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person.