8-Year-Olds Take a Knee to Protest National Anthem at Illinois Youth Football Game

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A team of children in an Illinois football league caused controversy last week, when they took a knee to protest the national anthem in emulation of protests started last year by Colin Kaepernick.

The 8-year-old kids from the Cahokia Quarterback Club football team took a knee as the anthem played before their Sunday, September 17 game, according to Fox Insider.

“One of the kids asked me if I saw [people] protesting and rioting in St. Louis,” Coach Orlando Gooden told the local Fox affiliate. “I said yes. I said, ‘Do you know why they are doing it?'”

The coach added that one of his players replied saying, “Because black people are getting killed and nobody’s going to jail.”

At that point, the coach claimed it was a “good teaching moment” and agreed to let the kids protest the anthem at the game:

“What I teach my kids is love, integrity, honesty, fairness, respect and boundaries,” the coach claimed.

Since the protest, Coach Gooden did note that he has received some blowback from people critical of the protest.

However, Gooden is unrepentant. “As long as I have support of my parents and team, I’m perfectly fine, and I’m covered under the First Amendment to peacefully protest and assemble,” he said.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.


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