Tucson High takes a knee

Anthem protest reaches Tucson High

Declan McCormick, Cactus Chronicle

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In 2016, Colin Kaepernick gained international attention when he kneeled during the national anthem before a pre-season NFL game.

From that moment, his ideas and way of protest spread like wildfire, reaching several different sport organizations, going as far as to grab President Donald Trump’s attention.

This controversy has grabbed hold of America, causing people to take sides on what they believe, like two high school football players and their coach from a private school in Texas.

Larry McCullough and Cedric Ingram Lewis were kicked off the team immediately after kneeling before a game.

Their coach justified it by saying it was disrespectful, especially to him as a veteran.

THMS was one of the many schools affected by the kneeling protest at both sporting events and pep rallies, some doing it simply as a joke and not knowing what it stood for, while others passionately displayed what they believe.

Gabriella Sena, student body treasure who kneeled during the national anthem at the Fall Pep Assembly at THMS, said that she felt admired by the people around her.

While Sena agreed that kneeling is an okay form of protest, she thinks that this shouldn’t go as far as to sitting during the anthem, as that is disrespectful.

An avid supporter of both the Black Lives Matter movement and Stopping Police Brutality, she said “This form of protest is really a way to start awareness.”

This wasn’t her first time kneeling however. She had also knelt at the Homecoming game and had been encouraged by a boy that she had seen kneeling.

She also said that she had witnessed some people kneeling in a joking manner or making fun of it.

Sena’s great grandfather was a soldier in the United States.

“Just one person taking a stand can inspire many people too and just by me doing this I feel like I’m contributing, even though it’s just like one simple me.”

Kevin Hinojosa, a republican, doesn’t think that people should be banned from kneeling during the national anthem, but he is against the concept of it.

He says that there is a finite difference between people like Colin Kaepernick kneeling for their beliefs and people who kneel during the national anthem.

“The anthem, it’s our freedom. It’s really important to a lot of people especially to veterans that fought in the war and to families of those veterans. It’s not just an anthem, it pretty much means our freedom, everything good about America and it’s stupid that people are kneeling just because they don’t like Trump,” Hinojosa said.

He thinks that there’s a better way to protest what you believe, other than kneeling for the flag.

“If people continue to kneel there will be backlash like there has been in the NFL,” he said.

One way he thinks football players could protest better is by using social media to voice their opinion instead of on live TV.

On the subject of kneeling, Kaepernick said “ultimately, it’s to bring awareness and make people realize what’s going on in this country.”

“There are a lot of things going on that are unjust, People aren’t being held accountable for, and that’s something that needs to change,” Kaepernick said.

When Kaepernick first sat for the national anthem, it angered Nate Boyer, a U.S. army veteran who saw the act as him ,“pissing,” on his flag.

However after the two spoke with one another, they both decided that it would be more respectful for Kaepernick to kneel as some veterans do, to pray or show respect for a fallen brother.

In order to speak for what he believed Colin Kaepernick put in jeopardy his job, which he eventually lost. The real question is whether or not people will follow in his footsteps and fight for what they believe or if this trend will just fade.

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Tucson High takes a knee