A group of youth football players in Cahokia, Ill., decided as a team to kneel to protest racial injustice in America, mirroring Colin Kaepernick’s original stand that got him exiled from football.
Members of the Junior Comanches football team demonstrated Sunday after kids asked team coaches about the protests in St. Louis over a not-guilty verdict of an officer killing a black man in 2011. Protests in the city over the unjust killing, sparked by a new verdict, have continued for days.
Jason Stockley, a white officer, killed Anthony Lamar Smith in December 2011. Dashcam recordings showed Stockley saying he was going to “kill that motherfucker” while he and another officer pursued Smith assuming he was a part of an earlier drug deal. Stockley ended up shooting Smith five times.
Following a discussion by the youth players who saw protests on televisions at home, Orlando Gooden, a Junior Comanches coach, told the Belleville News-Democrat that the idea came up during practice and that parents supported it.