Michael Oppong, a defensive back for Doherty High School in Worcester, took a knee in solidarity with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has made similar silent protests in recent weeks.
This week, though, a few other players joined Oppong in kneeling during Francis Scott Key’s ode to the Battle of Fort McHenry.
Joseph Nyuane, Devaughn Mitchell and Devon Taylor took a knee next to Oppong.
However, one of Oppong’s teammates, Stagne Souffrant, disagreed with his stand:
“I have family in the Army—if you believe [there are racial issues to be dealt with], you should be in your community raising your voice and doing other things,” Souffrant said.
After Friday’s game, coach Sean Mulcahy told the Worcester Telegram that he would be the only team member speaking with the media about the incident.
“I’ll talk about his [play]. He’s a heck of a player,” Mulcahy said of Oppong, who completed a pick-six—returning an interception for a touchdown—during the game. “He’s got a lot to learn as a football player.”
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