About 20 TCU students have joined a growing numbers of athletes, spectators and game day entertainers who are opting not to stand during the National Anthem. The TCU group staged its first protest on Sept. 17 during the homecoming game.
As the anthem started a man wearing a TCU veteran shirt and camouflage pants entered the student section of Amon G. Carter where the protesters were seated. He stood next to the protesters and saluted the flag as the song played, but it was unclear if he was there in support of their efforts.
The group’s organizers, Shanel Alexander and Diona Willis, said they plan to hold a silent protest at every home football game.
“We are having the protest today to be in solidarity with the nation as campuses, athletes and several other American citizens sit down during the National Anthem,” Willis said.
They said they have met with Chancellor Victor Boschini to discuss a list of demands, which they will release publicly soon. They said they plan to meet again with Boschini on Oct. 14.
The movement was sparked during preseason when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick declined to stand. Kaepernick said he is protesting because the U.S. “oppresses black people and people of color.”
And these protests have continued to take place not just on TCU’s campus, but all over the nation.
Five members of SMU’s marching band knelt on Sept. 23 during the Mustangs meeting with TCU. On Sept. 24, several players for Michigan raised their fists in protest during the anthem. Some students at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill also protested with raised fists when the Tar Heels played Pittsburgh.
Those protests followed the police shootings deaths of Keith Lamont Scott, Terrence Crutcher and Alfred Olango. Scott’s death in Charlotte, North Carolina triggered protests and unrest in that city. While Olango’s death led to protests in El Cajon, California.