Just a couple of miles from the White House and a few minutes before kickoff on Oct. 7, Howard University’s Greene Stadium announcer said, “We ask that you please rise as we honor the United States of America.”
The marching band was playing “The Star Spangled Banner” but the cheerleaders were not standing, no, they were kneeling.
Ever since Colin Kaepernick began kneeling in protest last season, more and more players have gotten in on the action. They are protesting racial injustice and police brutality and while not everyone supports them, most of America does.
College games have seen fewer protests than in the NFL but it looks like that might change and it’s cheerleaders who are leading the charge.
Since early last season, Howard cheerleaders have been carrying on their own protest.
“I think about the national anthem and what it stands for,” Sydney Stallworth, a junior from Odessa, Fla., told The New York Times. “I think about liberty and justice for all, and how it’s not being executed in our country right now. And I think about how lucky I am to go to the greatest historically black university in the country — not arguably; it’s the greatest — and so lucky to have this platform.”
Kennesaw State cheerleaders have also decided to take a knee, leaving some in Cobb upset.
When these cheerleaders made this decision, it did not come lightly. They prayed, hoping they were making a wise decision.
As the anthem played, five of the cheerleaders knelt in an effort to raise awareness of police brutality and racism.
“It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done,” said first-year student Michaelyn Wright.
Their choice to kneel led to a change in the way things were done. Cheerleaders are not permitted on the field during the anthem in Cobb County.
There are two schools of thought, one is that the women stepped out of line and two, that the university should not be trying to stifle these young voices.
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