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Youth football team kneels during national anthem

Posted by on Sep. 24, 2017 at 9:43 AM
  • 15 Replies

Youth football team kneels during national anthem

A local youth football team takes a knee during the national anthem.

CAHOKIA, ILL. - A local youth football team takes a knee during the national anthem. Now, their coach explains why.

Orlando “Doc” Gooden coaches the Junior Comanches, based out of Cahokia, Illinois. Most of the players are seven and eight years old.

A conversation started during a practice last weekend. Gooden said several of his players asked him about the unrest in St. Louis, following a judge’s decision to find former police officer Jason Stockley not guilty of first degree murder in the shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith.

“The kids, they asked me, have I seen they were rioting and protesting,” Gooden explained by phone Tuesday. “I asked them -- did they know what the protest was and why they were protesting? Some of the kids blurted out answers, and we kind of went from there.”

He said the player’s questions about the unrest led to a conversation about racial equality and the justice system.

“We talked about the different things people go to jail for, and the different reasons why people should go to jail,” Gooden explained. “And I asked them if they believe it was fair that some people don’t go to jail for killing and some do. And they said no, it’s unfair.”

The conversation turned to NFL quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, who made headlines for protesting racial inequality by kneeling during the national anthem at football games.

“I said, because of the unfair things that happen, that’s the reason Colin Kaepernick takes a knee during the national anthem now,” Gooden explained. “And one of the kids asked - could we do it? And the other ones, they were kind of excited to do it. And I said, as long as we know why we are doing it -- we can do it.”

Gooden said the players’ parents were present during the discussion at practice. As the national anthem played before their game on Sunday, the team and their coach took a knee, to protest the judge’s decision in the Stockley case.

Gooden considers what happened with his team a teaching moment.

“Somebody was searching for knowledge,” he said. “I absolutely felt that that was a great teaching moment.”

The team faces some criticism for that decision. Gooden said the players are young, but have a good understanding of the issues they discussed. They also meant no disrespect to those who served the country.

“Nothing was to disrespect any past or present military official, anyone who has relatives in the military,” he said. “We are Americans as well. The flag, it represents all of us.”

by on Sep. 24, 2017 at 9:43 AM
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Replies (1-10):
codfish
by Silver Member on Sep. 24, 2017 at 10:16 AM
2 moms liked this
I can promise as a mom if my kid "took a knee", I would snatch his ass off that field.

Yes, my children are taught to speak their minds. No, they are not taught they can speak their minds to disparage a flag that represents millions dying over the years fighting for them to have the right to speak their minds.
MissAndree
by Ronita on Sep. 24, 2017 at 10:19 AM
Good for them!
ILovemyPaulie
by on Sep. 24, 2017 at 10:28 AM
Quoting codfish: I can promise as a mom if my kid "took a knee", I would snatch his ass off that field.

Yes, my children are taught to speak their minds. No, they are not taught they can speak their minds to disparage a flag that represents millions dying over the years fighting for them to have the right to speak their minds.


This exactly! Shame on these Parents.
LAXmom21
by Member on Sep. 24, 2017 at 10:30 AM

I think if it was explained to ALL Americans that the National Anthem is representative of our ideals (including the freedom to protest peacefully), that there are military veterans, members and family who may be hurt by this and that there are other ways to show your disapproval, maybe just maybe they would reconsider. BUT it is within their rights as citizens to protest how and what they feel is unjust.

MeaganP
by Member on Sep. 24, 2017 at 10:31 AM
It is their right but didnt the NFL owners black ball the player that started it and now says he would not kneel if another team sign him
KaleaLani
by Silver Member on Sep. 24, 2017 at 10:40 AM
5 moms liked this
If the military and veterans are hurt by protesting during a song then they signed up for the wrong damn reason.

I did not serve to protect a song or a piece of cloth. My friends did not die for those either. We took the oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

That means we stand up for the people of this country who come under attack from so called patriots that bitch about those people expressing their Constitutional rights.





Quoting LAXmom21:

I think if it was explained to ALL Americans that the National Anthem is representative of our ideals (including the freedom to protest peacefully), that there are military veterans, members and family who may be hurt by this and that there are other ways to show your disapproval, maybe just maybe they would reconsider. BUT it is within their rights as citizens to protest how and what they feel is unjust.

KaleaLani
by Silver Member on Sep. 24, 2017 at 10:40 AM
1 mom liked this
If the military and veterans are hurt by protesting during a song then they signed up for the wrong damn reason.

I did not serve to protect a song or a piece of cloth. My friends did not die for those either. We took the oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

That means we stand up for the people of this country who come under attack from so called patriots that bitch about those people expressing their Constitutional rights.





Quoting LAXmom21:

I think if it was explained to ALL Americans that the National Anthem is representative of our ideals (including the freedom to protest peacefully), that there are military veterans, members and family who may be hurt by this and that there are other ways to show your disapproval, maybe just maybe they would reconsider. BUT it is within their rights as citizens to protest how and what they feel is unjust.

LAXmom21
by Member on Sep. 24, 2017 at 10:43 AM


I'm not saying they are but they might be. Those are their feelings and they are entitled to them just as you are yours. I don't care if they take a knee, sit or play patty cake during the anthem, it's the right of every US citizen. I'm just saying there are other people who take offense. and they are not all Trump supporters. Hell after what he said I would love to see every NFL player take a knee today. 

Quoting KaleaLani: If the military and veterans are hurt by protesting during a song then they signed up for the wrong damn reason. I did not serve to protect a song or a piece of cloth. My friends did not die for those either. We took the oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic. That means we stand up for the people of this country who come under attack from so called patriots that bitch about those people expressing their Constitutional rights.
Quoting LAXmom21:

I think if it was explained to ALL Americans that the National Anthem is representative of our ideals (including the freedom to protest peacefully), that there are military veterans, members and family who may be hurt by this and that there are other ways to show your disapproval, maybe just maybe they would reconsider. BUT it is within their rights as citizens to protest how and what they feel is unjust.



PamR
by Ruby Member on Sep. 24, 2017 at 10:44 AM
3 moms liked this


Quoting codfish: I can promise as a mom if my kid "took a knee", I would snatch his ass off that field. Yes, my children are taught to speak their minds. No, they are not taught they can speak their minds to disparage a flag that represents millions dying over the years fighting for them to have the right to speak their minds.

Parents were present during the discussion before they did this, so they had the opportunity to take their child out of the protest. 

The millions who died over the years were protecting rights like peaceful protest, the right to disagree with your government and not be afraid to show that.  They were exercising their rights as Americans.  Beyond that, these children (who appear to be African American) are young men who will soon be living in a world where they are viewed with suspicion and where they are more likely to be unfairly targeted by police.  And that is the essence of the protest. 

KaleaLani
by Silver Member on Sep. 24, 2017 at 10:49 AM
2 moms liked this
I would too. I think it would be great if everyone did.

I just hate when veterans or the military are used to try to guilt people into what amounts to blind nationalism. It's kind of a slap in the face to vets to say "he fought for your rights so respect him by not using your rights". Doing so makes it about the veteran himself, not the ideals he sacrificed for.


Quoting LAXmom21:

I'm not saying they are but they might be. Those are their feelings and they are entitled to them just as you are yours. I don't care if they take a knee, sit or play patty cake during the anthem, it's the right of every US citizen. I'm just saying there are other people who take offense. and they are not all Trump supporters. Hell after what he said I would love to see every NFL player take a knee today. 

Quoting KaleaLani: If the military and veterans are hurt by protesting during a song then they signed up for the wrong damn reason.

I did not serve to protect a song or a piece of cloth. My friends did not die for those either. We took the oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

That means we stand up for the people of this country who come under attack from so called patriots that bitch about those people expressing their Constitutional rights.





Quoting LAXmom21:

I think if it was explained to ALL Americans that the National Anthem is representative of our ideals (including the freedom to protest peacefully), that there are military veterans, members and family who may be hurt by this and that there are other ways to show your disapproval, maybe just maybe they would reconsider. BUT it is within their rights as citizens to protest how and what they feel is unjust.

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