A group of about 20 TCU students dressed in black held up signs and didn’t stand for the national anthem at the start of the TCU’s game against Iowa State.
Shanel Alexander, a senior political science major and organizer of the demonstration, said the protestors want “to be in solidarity with the NFL players who have decided to take a stand about the social injustices happening in this country.”
“We can’t support a nation and a flag and an anthem that doesn’t support us,” Alexander said.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick has said he is not standing for the national anthem to protest racial oppression. His decision has been criticized as disrespectful, but athletes such U.S. Soccer midfielder Megan Rapinoe, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane and Denver Broncos lineback Brandon Marshall. All have knelt, rather than stand during the anthem.
Diona Willis, a senior political science major and student organizer of the demonstration, said some TCU students decided to band together to stand in solidarity with individuals, such as Colin Kaepernick and actor Jesse Williams, who was criticized in the spring after speaking out against racial and social injustice.
The group of TCU was racially mixed.
The demonstration took place in the student section of Amon G. Carter Stadium, which is open to all TCU students. One protester, Elise Shropshire, a sophomore strategic communication and Spanish major, said a student threw an empty water bottle at her and another demonstrator.
Willis said she wants people to notice in order to raise awareness for such social injustices.
The university had a response to the silent demonstration.
Holly Ellman, the associate director of strategic communications for the marketing and communication department, wrote, “Texas Christian University recognizes the right of all members of the University community to express their views or to protest against actions and opinions with which they disagree.”