If it wasn’t clear by now, Colin Kaepernick dun’ started something by kneeling during the national anthem during the 2016 football season.
A group of third-graders on the Cahokia Quarterback Club football team collectively decided to take a knee during their pre-game national anthem on Sunday. The team, which consists of players eight years old and younger, took the sitting stand after their coach enlightened them about Kaepernick’s protest.
The lesson in standing for something came about when one of the young folks inquired about the marches taking place in St. Louis where demonstrators have been gathering in response to the acquittal of ex-cop Jason Stockley. Stockley killed Black motorist Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011.
“One of the kids asked me if I saw (people) protesting and rioting in St. Louis. I said yes; I said, ‘Do you know why they are doing it?’” Orlando Gooden who coaches the young Illinois football team told WGN 9 Chicago.
One of the players responded: “Because Black people are getting killed and nobody’s going to jail.”
Gooden, who said he felt the moment was an opportune time to teach the kids about the ongoing racial injustices taking place throughout the country, shared the story of Kaepernick’s precedent-setting demonstration. In response, one of them asked if they could follow Kaepernick’s lead, which they did on Sunday.
The group decision was met with approval from the parents of the players.
“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,” Gooden said.
Around this time last year, the Garfield High School football team in Seattle — inspired by Kaepernick — also decided to take a knee during the anthem.