The entire Garfield High School football team in Seattle took a knee during the playing of the national anthem before its game against West Seattle High School on Friday, via Deadspin.
— KOMO News (@komonews) September 17, 2016
Head coach Joey Thomas and his staff knelt “alongside the players during the anthem,” and “several players from West Seattle High School knelt as well,” King 5 reports.
“This came from the kids,” Thomas said. “Now don’t get me wrong, I support it 110 percent and that’s where my mind and heart was, but this is what they wanted. And I think that’s what makes this so special,” Thomas told King 5.
The team’s decision, of course, was inspired by the silent protest started by Colin Kaepernick who has been kneeling for the national anthem for several weeks now. Many players across the NFL have joined the San Francisco quarterback in an effort to raise awareness of racial injustice in America.
WATCH: entire Garfield HS football team and coaching staff kneels during national anthem pic.twitter.com/LSTqku9QDb
— Heather Graf (@HeatherGrafK5) September 17, 2016
“The conversation started two weeks ago, and we were talking about life and some of the things some of the young men have experienced as far as social injustices, and how to deal with certain situations being a man of color,” Thomas told King 5.
“It’s very refreshing to see these young men and women stand up for what they believe in, and I hope this inspires some other teams and other individuals to do the same thing,” Thomas added.
Coach Thomas says his players plan to kneel for the anthem for the rest of the season.