Howard University Cheerleaders Kneel During Anthem at Nation’s Classic

By Sameer Rao Sep 19, 2016

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his still-controversial decision to protest racist state violence by kneeling during the national anthem continues to inspire young athletes, including a whole cheerleading squad, to take similar measures. 

Howard University cheerleaders took a knee on Saturday (September 17) before the AT&T Nation’s Football Classic game against fellow historically Black school Hampton University at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. While representatives from the team and school did not provide comment to espnW or Essence, the latter publication noted that the above photo tweeted by radio station WPGC 95.5 went viral on social media.

Inside Higher Ed also reportd that a cheerleader at the University of Pennsylvania took a knee during the anthem before a football game against Lehigh University on Saturday, and two others raised a fist.

The entire football team and coaching staff of Seattle’s Garfield High School took a knee during the anthem on Friday (September 16), as did several players from their opponent, West Seattle High School. "Everybody wants to talk about how this is disrespectful to the American flag," Garfield High coach Joey Thomas told the Seattle Times. "That’s a smokescreen. How about we talk about the issues people are kneeling and fighting for? If we could start addressing the issues and finding solutions to the issues, we won’t have to kneel."

In the professional sports realm, Kaepernick continued his protest yesterday (September 18), as did Miami Dolphins players Michael Thomas, Kenny Stills and Arian Foster. Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall also took a knee for the anthem. Soccer champion Megan Rapinoe again dropped to one knee while representing the United States, this time before a match against the Netherlands yesterday. Regulatory body U.S. Soccer reportedly considered disciplinary action against Rapinoe, but ultimately decided not to pursue sanctions

(H/t The Daily Pennsylvanian, Bleacher Report, Miami Herald, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times)