Youth Football Players Kneel During National Anthem
A youth football team in Illinois knelt for the national anthem before one of their games over the weekend in a Colin Kaepernick-inspired protest.
Every player on the 8-and-under Cahokia Quarterback Club football team took part in the protest before Sunday’s game in Belleville.
“One of the kids asked me if I saw [people] protesting and rioting in St. Louis," Coach Orlando Gooden told Fox 2. "I said yes. I said, ‘Do you know why they are doing it?'”
Coach Gooden said the player responded, "Because black people are getting killed and nobody's going to jail.”
“I felt like it was a good teaching moment for me to circle the team and have a meeting,” Gooden said.
After explaining that Kaepernick chose to kneel during the national anthem of NFL games last season to protest police brutality and racial inequality, Gooden said one of the kids asked if they could “do that.”
He said as long as they knew why they were kneeling, he didn't have any problem with it.
“What I teach my kids is love, integrity, honesty, fairness, respect and boundaries,” he said.
The players’ parents reportedly supported the coach’s decision.
“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.
Kaepernick, still unsigned following his controversial protest last season, re-tweeted the story to his 1.3 million followers.
Shows of support for Kaepernick have continued in the NFL this season, including this past Sunday by Michael Bennett of the Seahawks.
The raised fist represent unity or solidarity with oppressed peoples. pic.twitter.com/ku8mFkelTB
— Michael Bennett (@mosesbread72) September 18, 2017
Bennett made headlines earlier this month when he accused Las Vegas police officers of mistreating him in their pursuit of a suspected active shooter.
Watch more above.