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Topics of inequality and police brutality have been forced to the forefront of American dialogue. Because this is the digital age, everything is online and we’re seeing horrible acts of racism and violence every day. Years ago you would have heard of some of these stories, but you wouldn’t have seen the murder of innocent people who look like you before your own eyes. Now take that trauma that you experience from seeing images of police brutality and racism on repeat, and imagine dealing with that on top of the stress of being a teenager.

The football team at an all Black private school in Prince George’s County, Md., has decided to follow in Colin Kaepernick’s footsteps and take a knee during the National Anthem.

The team first broached the idea of taking a knee with new coach, Cornell Wade, in late August, according to NBC News. The first game of the season was a few days away.

Josiah Gill, 17, spoke for the team when he said they understood. “We’re taking a knee because of inequality as a whole,” Gill said, according to the NBC News article. “We’re aware of what’s going on in this country as young black males.”

“A lot of people love football,” Gill added. “You have them coming from places to see you do something, and why not take a knee, why not do this to show we see what’s going on in the world?”

Like many American teenagers, Gill and his teammates have followed the debate over NFL players who kneel to call attention to racial injustice and police bias. As the league and team owners work to figure out how to penalize those players who protest, a handful of high schools around the country have confronted the issue as well.

In some places where student-athletes knelt they were punished, or even kicked off of the team. Outside of Houston, two Black football players at a private Christian school who protested during the national anthem were kicked off the team by their white coach. When members of a mostly Black high school football team in Louisiana knelt before a game against a mostly white school, they were met with jeers and racial slurs. And in New Jersey, two referees at a high school football game walked off the field after players knelt, later saying they didn’t like “anyone disrespecting our country, our flag, the armed forces,” according to NBC News.

Some schools have banned the protest, but at Capital Christian Academy, Gill and other players are still kneeling.



A High School Football Team Takes A Knee To Take A Stand  was originally published on