An entire team of players aged 8 and under took a knee during the national anthem on Sunday.
An entire team of players aged 8 and under took a knee during the national anthem on Sunday in Belleville, Ill. in solidarity with nearby protests in St. Louis regarding treatment of black citizens by police.
The Cahokia Quarterback Club team knelt before their game, with head coach Orlando Gooden, a former football player at Missouri, telling Fox 2 St Louis that the kids were aware of a local judge’s decision to acquit former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, who was accused of murder in the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith.
“One of the kids asked me if I saw (people) protesting and rioting in St. Louis. I said yes; I said, ‘Do you know why they are doing it?’” Gooden said, according to Fox.
Gooden said his player answered, “Because black people are getting killed and nobody's going to jail.” Gooden chose to use it as a teaching moment and discuss greater issues regarding race in America, including Colin Kaepernick’s protest.
“One of the kids asked, ‘Can we do that?’,” Gooden explained. “I said, ‘As long as we know why we're doing it, I don’t have a problem with any of it.’”