Two Students Kicked Off Football Team For Kneeling During Protest

Colin Kaepernick’s taking a knee has cause athletes across the country to take stand. What originally started with NFL players across the country, has now sparked a movement to people of all ages and occupations. Naturally, with the current political climate, this type of constitutionally just protest has not been received well by all, namely our current president Donald J. Trump. At a recent Alabama Republican rally, Trump made his stance abundantly clear by stating that coaches should just fire those who are exercising their rights. This statement was also not without it’s fair share of name calling. 

Most recently, athletes in closer to our community have been feeling the backlash of their simple gesture. According to Click2Houston, two texas teenagers were booted from their private high school team after both chose to protest during the National Anthem.  Larry McCullough, 18, took a knee while his cousin, Cedric “CJ” Ingram Lewis, 16, raised his fist in solidarity. According to reports, upon seeing the protest, the coach made the kids strip out of their uniforms on the field in front of spectators, and escorted them off the field. The coach, Ronnie Mitchem, coaches for private-school and homeschooled kids without football teams. Embarrassment and humiliation were but a few of the words used to describe the ordeal. Lewis’ mother, Rhonda Brady was most shocked of all as she went on to say that Mitchem “was a pastor”, so his extreme actions were not to be expected.

Mitchem, pastor and former Marine, was said to have let his players know that these protests were “not allowed” and he went on to post his thoughts on facebook following the decision: 

“Thanks to all of you for your support. I want to be clear that I don’t have a problem with people protesting if it is done the right way. But to disrespect the flag that gives us the right to protest is the wrong way to do it. I gave the two players other ways to protest that I felt was fair.”

Although this started as something small, Kaepernick— who is now a free agent—has spearheaded a movement that brings further discussion to race relations here in the “greatest country in the world”. With such strong reactions to a simple exercise of rights, it is fascinating to see how these actions are justified, and it definitely speaks volumes of just how much further we have to go.

McCollough went on to say his actions  “ was really showing the injustice for black people, all the stuff that’s going on in the NFL, stuff like that” and he felt he personally needed to be a part of the solution. Hopefully this traumatizing ordeal will serve a greater purpose in the journey toward justice.

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