Campus News

Football players react to Kaepernick controversy

By Rachel Levy, Reporter

Shenandoah University football players have differing views on whether athletes should kneel during the National Anthem to protest what they view as injustices in the U.S.

Begun by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the act of taking a knee is spreading from professional players to high schoolers. Kaepernick has said he doesn’t want to stand during the Anthem because the flag “oppresses black people and people of color.”

Football at Shenandoah University | The Buzz

Malik Henry, a junior outside linebacker, said that while he understands Kaepernick’s feelings, he thinks “he could do it in a different way.”

Qlyl Middelijn, a wide receiver and a senior, notes that Kaepernick has a “valid point.”

“If that’s how he feels about this country then that’s his opinion,” said free safety Devontae Dunn, a junior.

Kaepernick is strong according to Lorenzo Thomas, a junior defensive end, who said that he, “applauds him for doing it because no one else has the guts to do it.”

Matt Lumpkin, a junior and wide receiver, agreed.

“People who have a problem with him not standing are the problem because there is a problem,” Lumpkin said.

 Terrell Wheeler, a freshman defensive back, along with Dunn, said that Kaepernick should have the freedom to express his feelings but both noted his actions are disrespectful to the military.

None of the football players interviewed said they would take a knee during the National Anthem.

Freshman lineman Brad Hoffman said he doubted the protests would stop.

“This is how you solve issues, you get people talking,” said Henry.

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