DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- Colin Kaepernick's protest against police killing black people continues to spread beyond professional football fields. A local softball team is the latest to take a knee during the singing of the national anthem.
Cedar Grove's entire softball team knelt on one knee during the national anthem before their game against Calhoun High School. After the performer was done, the teen applauded and stood up.
Calhoun High School's team remained standing during the anthem with their hands over their hearts.
Video of the moment was captured by a parent in the stands and posted to her Facebook page. Kristie Grider Long said "Calhoun vs Cedar Grove 1st round state play offs "sweet sixteen" and this happens....please share!"
11Alive reached out to DeKalb County School District where Cedar Grove High Schol is located to see what their policy is. The district said they would not punish students for exercising their constitutional rights.
Read the district's full response below:
“Based on our due diligence, including researching relevant law and DCSD Board of Education policy, students who wish to exercise their First Amendment rights during sports activities, events or other school-related activities including sit-ins will be allowed to do so. We will not interfere with student activities as long as they are not disruptive and do not alter any uniforms in accordance with the rules from the Georgia High School Association (GHSA).
If students should elect to express their free speech rights, we want to create and provide a safe space to do so; however, we expect students to express themselves peacefully and with order.The goal is not to interfere with the students’ constitutional right to freedom of speech.”
KNEELING AROUND THE NATION
In Georgia, some cheerleaders decided to kneel during the national anthem when Kennesaw State University played against North Greenville University on September 30. The school responded by holding off letting the cheerleaders onto the field until after the national anthem was played, following the example set by the Seahawks.
Kennesaw State University said the change to keep cheerleaders off the field for pre activities was a part of ongoing gameday changes.
THE HISTORY OF THIS PROTEST
In an interview with NFL.com last season, Kaepernick explained why he started first sitting out and then kneeling during the national anthem.
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick said, to NFL.com. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
He said, "I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed... If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right."