Second-string San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took his national anthem protest to a local high school on Friday night, joining Castlemont High School’s football team in boycotting the Star-Spangled Banner before the game.
The protest had an unusual twist. While Kaepernick adopted his trademark kneeling posture, the members of the team lay down on the turf on their backs and raised their hands above their heads, to suggest being shot while surrendering to police.
Kaepernick came to Oakland, CA. He kneeled on one knee, players laid on their back with hands up during the Anthem. pic.twitter.com/Cae4sTopac
— Kirk Morrison (@kirkmorrison) September 24, 2016
Kaepernick also delivered a stirring pre-game speech to the Knights in the visiting team locker room before they faced King’s Academy (also the Knights) in a non-conference matchup. Despite Kaepernick’s inspiration, Castlemont lost the game, 49-44.
The East Bay Times posted video clips and a transcript of excerpts of Kaepernick’s locker room speech:
I know situations like a lot of y’all might be in where people don’t treat you the same, they don’t give you that time of day, they don’t give you those opportunities to be the best you can be.
That’s why I made the decision to do what I did. You all inspired me with what you did, following that and standing up. You all are doing this at a much younger age than what I did. This took me a while to get to this point. And you all are conscious of this at this point in time to make that stand.
What’s most important is you look out for one another. This is your family. These are your brothers. I look at all of you as brothers. I see your strength. I see your power, your courage, your confidence. And that’s something you have to be able to speak into each other as well.
When you talk to him, talk to him with confidence, speak confidence into him. ‘You’re going to play great today. You’re going to be the best player out there. Not just the best player on the field, you’re going to be the best player when you walk off that field and into the real world.
You are important. You make a difference. This matters. Everything you do matters. Look out for one another. Lift each other up. That’s what this is about.
I had to come support y’all because of the same way y’all took a stand, and still with me, I have to come out here and stand with y’all. So I appreciate what y’all did. I love you all. Y’all my brothers. I’m here with you.
Castlemont seems to have been very proud of the visit and the message. The school’s Facebook page featured several posts celebrating the event. One alumnus posted: “Kaepernick came to my alma mater in the hood hood to holler at the youth. East Oakland fucks with you for life. Caaaaastle.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.