A University of Pennsylvania cheerleader raised her first and another kneeled during the national anthem ahead of the football team's home opener against Lehigh.
College junior Alexus Bazen and Wharton junior Deena Char confirmed that the decision to protest was inspired by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
“I believe that the climate of the world right now is very hostile,” Bazen told The Daily Pennsylvanian. “All over the news there has been brutality and violence against people of color and I truly believe in...fighting for equality and standing up for what I believe in.”
Kaepernick has decided not to stand for the national anthem during the games in protest of racial inequalities and injustices taking place in America, including police-related violence.
The cheerleaders' coach granted them permission to protest when they asked before the game.