Local high school players kneel as Kaepernick continues protest

CAMDEN (WPVI) -- Monday Night Football returned to televisions across the country.

The L.A. Rams took on the San Francisco 49ers and once again there was a silent protest by 49ers' quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

As he did in the pre-season, Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem. It is a protest that has ignited controversy across the U.S., but also solidarity from NFL players and coaches on Sunday.

And now a local high school has joined in the movement against racism and police brutality.

In video from NJ.com, all but two Woodrow Wilson High School football players knelt as the national anthem played before their game Saturday.

It's all students were talking about on Monday.

"That's their right. If they want to take a knee, they could take a knee," 10th grader Tyron Lee said.

"I don't think it's wrong; I think they should just stand," freshman Anthony Medina said.

The school district tells Action News:

"We strongly respect our students' experiences and their exercising of our country's First Amendment rights. Whether our students choose to stand, kneel, or otherwise, we're proud of their engagement with what is more broadly a very important social justice issue."

Kaperernick started the movement last month with his silent protest during the national anthem in a push to bring awareness to racial oppression and police brutality.

"Even though other people do it, you shouldn't do it," Wilson sophomore Audeliz Figueiora said.

"I don't think they're trying to make anyone upset about it, just trying to get people to talk about things," Justin Kolbeck of Cherry Hill said.

Meanwhile, Camden Diocese sent a memo to their school administrators reiterating their policy that "free speech in all of its demonstrations, including protests, is not a guaranteed right" and could result in disciplinary action.

"When is it going to stop? It's a respectful thing you do for our country," Holly Uber of Collingswood said.

Critics say the silent protest is just a distraction from the real issue and there are other ways to take a stance.

There is no word on if the Woodrow Wilson High football team will be taking a knee at their next game.
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