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Members of the Oakland Unified School District honor band kneeled while performing the national anthem Tuesday night before the A's game at the Oakland Coliseum.

Apparently inspired by Colin Kaepernick and other athletes protesting against police brutality, most of the band dropped to a knee near the end of the song.

“Toward the end of the song, most of the 155 middle and high school students took a knee in protest against police brutality and unfair treatment of people of color in America,” a post on the Oakland Unified School District Facebook page reads. “The crowd responded with enthusiastic applause.”

Zack Pitt-Smith, the band director at Edna Brewer Middle School, who helps to lead the honor band, said he didn’t know until the rehearsal before the show that the students were planning to make such a stand.

“It came from a few students. It was not mandated by a teacher,” he told the East Bay Times. “And it was a really powerful message from students who are living a reality and really wanting their voices to be heard.”

“The students really expressed a desire to show their solidarity with, not necessarily with Colin Kaepernick, but the movement that is quite evident in their world,” he said. “They wanted to express what they see as racial injustice in their world.”

Watch the students' demonstration above, and let us know what you think in the comments.


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