Akins players debate if they have the right to protest


Ash Catalan

High school players share their reactions to the trend of NFL players taking a knee in silent protest of police brutality against unarmed black people.

JJ Mendiola, Sports Editor

Since last year, players in the National Football League have been taking a knee in silent protest of police brutality against unarmed black people.

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the movement when he began taking a knee during the opening ceremony of each game when the National Anthem was sung.

This simple act has created one of the biggest controversies in football history, pitting fans, players, politicians, and team owners in a battle that is still raging today.

Pullquote Photo

We should we allowed to speak our mind. We are American citizens. We have a right just like anyone, our voice matters.”

— Senior Devonte Adamson

This controversy has not only occurred at the national level. Some high school football players have been removed from teams in Texas after taking a knee at their local high school games. Although no Akins players have taken a knee at their games, it’s not that players haven’t discussed it or thought about it.

Senior Bryce Gable said he believes high school players should be allowed to take a knee without fear of being punished for exercising their First Amendment rights.

Some high school students have suffered consequences after protesting before games. Two players have been kicked off a team in Houston for taking a knee and putting their fist in the air during the National Anthem. They were both removed from their team immediately.

These players said they think it was worth taking a stand and sacrificing for what in their eyes is for the greater good.

Senior Devonte Adamson said high school students shouldn’t be punished for exercising their First Amendment rights by protesting.

“Even though we are in high school things that happen affect us, too, and we have voices to protest just as normal people can,” Adamson said. “If I ever that chance to take a knee during a game I would. There are too many problems with minorities being targeted by police by the color of someone’s skin. I’m not saying it’s the biggest problems we have, but it’s a problem that needs to be heard and protested on.”

Not all of the players on the varsity football team feel the same way. Some players said they agree that students should be able to protest, but they don’t like the way they are going about it.

Junior Juan Liscano said he agrees with the cause but doesn’t like the idea of protesting during a game.

Pullquote Photo

I feel like people have strayed away from the idea of what the protest meant and if you are gonna protest, do it for a good reason, for the vision of justice, for those who have been killed by police brutality. ”

— Senior Stephen Kates

Some say that high school football players aren’t mature enough yet and maybe aren’t doing for the original idea that Kaepernick did it for.

Senior Stephen Kates said he thinks that some people have strayed away from the original idea what it is supposed to symbolize.

Other people have different views on this situation and see the protests as a sign of disrespect for veterans.

Senior Tripp Ryan said he would never take a knee.

“I see it as a disrespect to our soldiers and this country and when you take a knee you disrespect the people that fought for that flag,” he said. “I understand why they do it but I could never do it personally.”