A group of about 30 students from the University of Alabama staged an anti-American protest by pointedly staying seated during the national anthem as the Crimson Tide faced the University of Kentucky on Saturday.
In a nod to the anti-American protests of San Francisco 49ers second string quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, the students said their protest was to highlight racism in the U.S., the school’s Crimson White newspaper reported on October 3.
The Tide rolled over Kentucky 34-6 in Tuscaloosa to improve to 5-0.
UA student Michael Coates, insisted the U.S. is filled with “injustices” and he hoped to raise awareness of the problems he sees, saying that “there are injustices in this country that we cannot ignore. Myself being an African-American student, I am very much a witness and victim to racial injustices.”
“People are misinformed and blinded, they don’t see any racism in the country,” Coates added.
Another student who participated in the anti-American protest said he felt the need to highlight the “harm” the U.S.A. does.
UA junior Dwyer Freeman told the school paper the protest was an act of “solidarity” for those “harmed under the flag that’s supposed to represent them.”
Freeman, one of the primary organizers of the anti-American protest in the stands, said she intends to continue organizing such protests and this weekend’s game won’t be a “one-and-done” event.
Freeman also noted that those reacting against her protest is proof that the country is racist.
“The fact that these [protests] get reactions shows that they need to continue,” she said.
In a separate interview published by AL.com, Freeman said her protest was meant to disrupt the country.
“We need to disrupt the system of power that we’re very much a part of,” she insisted. “It’s not the oppressed’s responsibility to get rid of oppression. It’s not. That’s why more white people need to get involved.”
Supporters of the anthem sit down are sharing their protest using the hash tag #bamasits on social media.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.