Patriots Take a Knee During Anthem

Hailey Grizzaffi, Writer

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Following a popular trend to stand up to social injustices, several members of the Patriots varsity football team took a knee during the national anthem at the game against South Garland High School.

Senior cornerback Sir Markus Runnels says he kneeled to protest the inequality experienced by people of color, and that the protest was purely to educate the public.

“It’s not meant as disrespect but really raising awareness and hopefully a change follows for the better of everyone,” Runnels said. “I need to do something that’ll grab their attention and bring light to the situation.”

This nationwide protest first began with Colin Kaepernick, a former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, who has subsequently been unable to find a new team to play for since his contract was not renewed with the 49ers.

“I feel it was unjust for [Kaepernick] to lose his job, but he did the right thing,” Runnels said. “Sooner or later he will find a supportive team and continue on.”

The students who participated in the silent protest received support from teachers, who believed in their right to stand up to tradition.

“I think that it’s more than just a demonstration, it’s the idea behind it,” business magnet teacher Christopher Fleming said. “I thought for a group of high school students to decide to do that takes a lot of courage.”

Some Patriot players, however, chose not to kneel with their teammates and instead followed the norm of standing.

“Football should be football, passion and hard work,” senior left guard Dallas Ume-Ezeoke said. “Politics and all this flag fiasco should stay with politics. Don’t combine the two because you induce division.”

According to Runnels, those who participated felt that their protest held a great meaning, and hope to inspire others to do the same.

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Patriots Take a Knee During Anthem