(American-Statesman)

Texas high school cheerleaders kneel during anthem

The pre-game protests that swirled through the NFL this past weekend also surfaced at a pair of high school football games on Friday night in Austin, Texas.

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Before kickoff of the Austin High-Crockett contest at House Park, a group of about a half -dozen Maroons football players knelt on the sideline during the playing of the national anthem. They took a knee about 5 feet behind their teammates, who were standing on the west sideline of House Park, facing the American flag that was flying beyond one of the end zones.

At Nelson Field, at least six of McCallum’s cheerleaders took a knee during the playing of the national anthem before the District 25-5A showdown between McCallum and LBJ. No players from either team knelt.

Last week, during a campaign rally in Alabama for a failed Senate candidate, President Trump called for NFL owners to fire players who knelt during the national anthem before games to protest racial injustice and police violence.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired,’” Trump said at the rally.

In the wake of Trump’s remarks, every NFL team made some sort of demonstration this past weekend before their games. Joined by their team owner, Jerry Jones, an acknowledged Trump supporter, the Dallas Cowboys knelt as a team before the anthem to show unity with the rest of the league.

Earlier this week, a principal at a high school in Louisiana sent a letter to parents and students that said any athlete who protested during the national anthem could be kicked off their team. In Texas, however, several large school districts, including those of Houston and Frisco, said in a news release that players would be allowed to kneel during the playing of the anthem without any repercussions.

A year ago, San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick began taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality.

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