Beaumont youth football team's silent protest draws attention

Beaumont youth football team joins silent protest

BEAUMONT, Texas -- Today, a parent of a Beaumont Bulls player calls this more than just a protest. A video of the team kneeling during the national anthem has gained more than 280,000 views. 

The man who started all the controversy, Colin Kaepernick, retweeted a picture of the team's actions over the weekend.

The Beaumont Bulls youth football team and coaches took a knee during the National Anthem before their game on Saturday.

Tre Martin, a former Bulls coach, says he was disappointed in the kids he loved coaching.

"I was just disgusted by the whole thing. You know, the only reason those boys get to play football and we have country like we do is because of our veterans and our flag and what it represents," Martin said.

But a parent who spoke exclusively to KBMT 12 News disagrees. She wrote:

"After having many discussions with my son both prior to and after Kaepernick's original protest, he understands that as a biracial male he will be viewed as black, and he'll potentially be up against more and different odds than some of his other classmates. We saw this as a way to practice our American right to stand up for himself and shine a spotlight on racism in America. Deciding to take a knee was a group decision which was started by players then discussed with coaches and parents. Everyone was behind this silent protest, 100 percent."

She tells me it's important because, "The issues going on right now will directly affect them, especially children of color, and not only do they need to be aware, they also need to feel empowered to make our country even greater than it already is."

But Martin says this was not the kid's intention to do what he thinks is disrespectful.

"It is a travesty, it is awful, it is wrong as it can be. Those kids don't understand what's going on. I mean, some of them do, but most of those babies don't know why they're kneeling other than their coach told them," Martin said. 

The parent tells me that she loves America and feels the team loves America, but says the love is not reciprocated.

The Beaumont Bulls president and head coach have not provided a comment.

The parent also said:

"This is more than just a protest. This is a demand for reform in our justice system, our police system and prison system. We love America, but at this time we do not feel that this love is reciprocated.  Once this country, this flag and this National Anthem reflects the same freedom, liberty and justice for all people we will proudly stand with our hand over our heart, but for now we will proudly kneel with our heads bowed in silent protest. "

(© 2016 KBMT)


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