Kaepernick’s Anthem Protest Spreads As Police Continue Killing
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FEATURING CHENJERAI KUMANYIKA – The epidemic of police violence in the US continued over the past week with the news of two horrific events. In Columbus, Ohio, police fatally shot a 13-year old African American boy named Tyre King, who was holding a BB gun, in an incident reminiscent of the Tamir Rice killing in Cleveland. And, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, police shot and killed an African American man named Terence Crutcher who was peacefully following orders and being followed by several armed officers when he was brutally shot.
It is these killings that are inspiring a growing wave of symbolic, non-violent activism by athletes around the country. NFL football player Colin Kaepernick sparked the trend of sitting through the playing of the national anthem some weeks ago in an action that has now multiplied among fellow professional athletes, and even college and high school players. Some are sitting, others are kneeling, and a few are even raising their fists as the anthem plays before their games.
Read Chenjerai’s open letter to Clemson Football coach Dabo Swinney HERE.
Chenjerai Kumanyika is an Assistant Professor of Communications Studies at Clemson University in South Carolina and a correspondent for Rising Up.