Colin Kaepernick certainly opened up a can of worms when he decided to sit during the national anthem during an NFL football game. At first, we watched on as other athletes joined in his refusal, but the incident has made it’s way to youngsters, causing an uproar amongst parents, coaches and athletes everywhere.
The most recent incident involved a youth team in Beaumont, Texas. The team members took a knee during the national anthem, but it didn’t end there. After the Beaumont Bulls Football players took a knee alongside their coach, they started to receive death threats after the season ended early.
The team decided to take a knee for the first time on September 10th to protest the “unjust treatment of minorities in America,” said the team’s head coach Rah-Rah Barber. Fourteen of the nineteen players kneeled during the anthem, which created a stir amongst parents. The remaining five players stood and linked arms with their coaches.
“I wouldn’t be an advocate of encouraging my youngsters to disrespect the flag. I couldn’t condone that,” said one parent who felt that Barber was teaching his players to disrespect the flag.
When the same fourteen players were kneeling during the second game, alongside the coach, Barber was fired for creating a hostile mood during the team meeting that followed the game.
“Last night (Sept. 15, 2016), the Executive Board did call a meeting to discuss the safety concerns of the Senior team, as well as the safety concerns of the other teams in our club. However, the meeting got out of hand and nothing was resolved. Therefore, the Senior team will continue to kneel, if they choose to, at the playing of the National Anthem,” said Bulls President, Seterria Anderson during a statement issued.
According to Barber, prior to the incidents, he had asked parents approval, but the main concern was the fact that Barber was signaling out the five players who didn’t want to take a knee.
After Barber was removed from the league, some of his players protested and refused to attend practices and games, which led to an early closing of the team’s season due to the lack of players. While most of the players have been transferred to other teams, Anderson is still receiving hate mail from people all over the world.
“The youth organization ended their team’s season not because of the lack of players, but because of the protest,” said parent, April Parkerson. “If the organization brought Barber back, then most of the team’s players would come back to the team and start practicing again.”
Many of the players have transferred onto a different team, but the youth league’s president, Seterria Anderson, said she is still receiving threats for canceling the season.
The sad part is the fact that politics have managed to get in the way of kids just being kids and participating in sports activities.
As to be expected, people are outraged by the incident…
“You’re teaching these kids to disrespect the Flag and the people who fought and died. MLK would not have done this.”