After San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick chose not to stand for the national anthem during a preseason NFL football game, many have followed in his footsteps.
The Oakland Unified School District’s Honor Band decided to take a knee while performing the national anthem at their school’s Oakland A’s game Tuesday evening.
The school district first posted a photo of the students to their Facebook page and wrote:
The OUSD Honor Band played the National Anthem before tonight’s Oakland A’s game. Toward the end of the song, most of the 155 middle and high school students took a knee in protest against police brutality and unfair treatment of people of color in America. The crowd responded with enthusiastic applause.
Then, they uploaded video of their performance with the caption:
ICYMI: Here is the moment at which most of the members of the OUSD Honor Band took a knee while playing the National Anthem at Tuesday night’s Oakland A’s game. The middle and high school musicians were making a statement of solidarity in protest against police brutality and unfair treatment of people of color in America. OUSD is proud of our thoughtful and courageous students.
“OUSD is proud to have such thoughtful and courageous students,” school district spokesman John Sasaki told the East Bay Times. “They knew that this was a controversial issue across our nation, and yet they decided to go ahead with their protest knowing it would not be well-received by some Americans. They are proud that they have helped to further this important discussion.”
Many people commented about their decision. One person commented and wrote, “You all should be ashamed of yourselves and the administrators who allowed this should resign.” Others did not feel the same; another person wrote, “[T]hank you for allowing the band to show their bravery by peacefully protesting for peace – just beautiful. They knew that many people would verbally attack them yet they still showed the courage to bring attention to police violence. Their action is what the founding fathers would want[.]”
The video has been viewed more than 3,600 times since it was posted Wednesday afternoon.