Entire Third Grade Football Team Kneels In Protest Of Police Brutality

Entire Third Grade Football Team Kneels In Protest Of Police Brutality

A youth football team in IL took a page out of Colin Kaepernick's playbook and staged their own social injustice protest before one of their games - with coaches and players taking a knee during the national anthem. Their backs were to the flag, but Gooden says that wasn't on goal.

After explaining that Kaepernick chose to kneel during the national anthem of NFL games last season to protest police brutality and racial inequality, Gooden said one of the kids asked if they could "do that".

Around this time previous year, the Garfield High School football team in Seattle - inspired by Kaepernick - also made a decision to take a knee during the anthem.

He said as long as they knew why they were kneeling, he didn't have any problem with it.

Their demonstration comes in the wake of the Friday acquittal of a Jason Stockley, a white former St. Louis police officer who shot and killed a 24-year-old black driver named Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011.

According to Coach Gooden, the player responded, "Because black people are getting killed, and no one is going to jail".

Despite still being a free agent in the NFL, Kaepernick's impact is still being felt in the world of football. Many others have followed his lead, including National Football League players and athletes from other sports.

As the national anthem began playing, the third graders all took a knee in unison with their backs facing the flag.

According to their coach, who spoke to Bellville station KTVI, one player opened up a conversation about the protests in St. Louis, which were going on just five miles away from their town of Cahokia.

Gooden said one of the players asked, "Can we do that?"

The group decision was met with approval from the parents of the players.

"I told them kneeling is a show of respect, not for those who broke boundaries - I support only peaceful protest - but for the innocent lives that have been touched by injustice", he said.