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Published: Tue, September 20, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

High school football team kneels during anthem

High school football team kneels during anthem

"I feel that they're just emulating the professional players they've seen do it".

About four or five players on the West Seattle High School team also knelt during the anthem at the Southwest Athletic Complex in the West Seattle area.

West Seattle athletes began kneeling a week prior after getting approval from administration staff.

It was the first time Garfield football players participated in the increasingly popular demonstration.

Coach Thomas says his players plan to kneel for the anthem for the rest of the season.

Ever since San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem during an NFL game several weeks ago, the effects of his protest have rippled through the league as well as local football communities.

Subversive gesturing during the national anthem is super hot right now.

Jayda Evans of The Seattle Times reports that Garfield made a decision to protest because of the typically-omitted third verse of the national anthem, which includes a line that supports slavery. "You have to talk with kids about the social injustices that are going on because they're dealing with it regardless", Thomas said.

Teammate Marvin Pusung-Zita, 17, who is Filipino-American, told the paper, "I consider my teammates my brothers, and being that my brothers on the team are black and oppressed, then of course by all means I'm going to support them and take the knee". "If we could start addressing the issues and finding solutions to the issues, we won't have to kneel". "This is not a disrespectful movement, and I think that's kind of a smokescreen not to deal with the issues". "Seattle Public Schools supports all students' right to free speech".

"There's a new awareness in the country, especially among the younger generations, that, as a nation, we are not living up to our ideals in terms of freedom for all, racial equality, and social justice".

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