Football players and coaches in a Texas youth league took a knee during the national anthem “to protest violence against black youth” on September 10.
The local ABC affiliate in Beaumont, 12News reported that a photographer who has worked with the Beaumont Bulls for years, was asked to capture the moment.
The photographer, owner of MHD Media, says he was approached by one of the coaches to get a snapshot of the silent protest. He said the team members wanted to get people talking about ending gang violence and “officer involved crimes” as well as other issues, reported 12News. The players said they knelt as opposed to sat down because they have respect for the military and others who have sacrificed for America’s freedom.
Breitbart Sports reported that several NFL player-activists continued to take a knee on Sunday during the playing of the national anthem. They were protesting the “injustice in America” and oppression of blacks. Dolphins running back Arian Foster; wide receiver Kenny Stills; safety Michael Thomas; and linebacker Jelani Jenkins participated in the protest.
The reaction to athletes protesting in this way has been mixed.
Breitbart News reported that model-actress Kate Upton condemned the NFL players’ acts on social media, calling such gestures a “disgrace” on any regular day but “even more horrific” on the anniversary of September 11.
In my opinion, the national anthem is a symbolic song about our country. It represents honoring the many brave men and women who sacrifice and have sacrificed their lives each and every single day to protect our freedom. Sitting or kneeling down during the national anthem is a disgrace to those people who have served and currently serve our country. Sitting down during the national anthem on September 11th is even more horrific. Protest all you want and use social media all you want. However, during the nearly two minutes when that song is playing, I believe everyone should put their hands on their heart and be proud of our country for we are all truly blessed. Recent history has shown that it is a place where anyone no matter what race or gender has the potential to become President of the United States. We live in the most special place in the world and should be thankful. After the song is over, I would encourage everyone to please use the podium they have, stand up for their beliefs, and make America a better place. The rebuilding of battery park and the freedom tower demonstrates that amazing things can be done in this country when we work together towards a common goal. It is a shame how quickly we have forgotten this as a society. Today we are more divided then ever before. I could never imagine multiple people sitting down during the national anthem on the September 11th anniversary. The lessons of 911 should teach us that if we come together, the world can be a better and more peaceful place #neverforget.
“I think every American has the right to say and do whatever it is that freedom offers us,” iconic Las Vegas singer Wayne Newton said. “However, during the national anthem, is not the time or the place to show that kind of thing. I have no tolerance at all for it. I support the right to say what they believe and how they believe it, but that’s the wrong place and time,” reported Breitbart News on Monday.
Newton was directing his message to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other players who are protesting the oppression of black people in America by not standing when the national anthem is being played.