Colin Kaepernick knelt behind the players and coaches of the Castlemont High School football team in Oakland, California as they staged a “die-in” protest Friday night.
The team laid on their backs with their hands in the air during the national anthem as the San Francisco quarterback took a knee besides them.
Kaepernick came to Oakland, CA. He kneeled on one knee, players laid on their back with hands up during the Anthem. pic.twitter.com/Cae4sTopac
— Kirk Morrison (@kirkmorrison) September 24, 2016
Kaepernick visited a week after the team knelt and raised their fists during the national anthem before their game the previous week, according to USA Today. The high school players have followed Kaepernick and the many other NFL players that have been protesting racial injustice in America.
The San Francisco quarterback spoke to the team before their game and thanked them all for joining his cause. Castlemont assistant coach Ben Arnold recorded several videos of Kaepernick’s pregame speech to his team, The Mercury News reports.
“I know situations like a lot of y’all might be in where people don’t treat you the same, they don’t give you that time of day, they don’t give you those opportunities to be the best you can be,” Kaepernick said while wearing a Muhammad Ali shirt.
“That’s why I made the decision to do what I did. You all inspired me with what you did, following that and standing up. You all are doing this at a much younger age than what I did. This took me a while to get to this point. And you all are conscious of this at this point in time to make that stand.”
“You are important. You make a difference. This matters. Everything you do matters. Look out for one another, lift each other up. That’s what this is about,” Kaepernick told the team.
The Castlemont Knights during the National Anthem before last Friday’s football game in Oakland: pic.twitter.com/AJvsP3maDR
— Castlemont Football (@CastlemontFB) September 20, 2016
Kaepernick stood on the sidelines for the game wearing a Castlemont football hoodie. He posed for several pictures afterwards.
The Castle. pic.twitter.com/qhWoZF9pjp
— Castlemont Football (@CastlemontFB) September 24, 2016