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Local News

Plainfield South football players kneel during national anthem

PLAINFIELD — A group of Plainfield South High School football players kneeled down during the national anthem before a varsity game Friday, catching the notice of NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who has protested the anthem this year. 

About 10 players from South kneeled down during “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Friday’s game between the Plainfield South and East football teams.

Tom Hernandez, Plainfield District 202 spokesman, stated in an email that the students were protesting violence in the U.S., and that their kneeling was not an anti-military or anti-police statement.

“They talked to their coach first, who insisted that they also talk to the team and their parents, and be aware of possible repercussions, and that they understand that this would be a one-time thing. This week and beyond, they will stand in unity,” Hernandez stated. 

Hernandez stated that South coach Bill Bicker was not available for comment Monday, and that the district does not “have any comment beyond what has already been said."

“The students have constitutional rights, the same as adults. They have exercised their rights and the school administration did its best to manage a sensitive situation,” Hernandez stated. 

Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, retweeted a tweet from Shaun King, senior justice writer for the New York Daily News, of a photo of the South players kneeling.

Kaepernick has refused to stand for the national anthem before games because of the history of oppression in the U.S. against blacks and other minorities. 

King wrote in his tweet, “We see you fellas.” 

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