Two high school students in Texas recently took a page out of Colin Kaepernick’s book. They protested during the national anthem before a game against racial injustice. Unfortunately, just like Kap, the decision left them without a team.
Cedric Ingram-Lewis and his cousin Larry McCullough, players for Two Victory & Praise Christian Academy in Crosby, TX, were determined to continue to raise awareness about police brutality and injustice in this country. Before one of their games, Cedric raised his fist during the anthem, while Larry decided to take a knee. However, their coach, Ronnie Mitchem, was not feeling their protest, telling the teens to take off their uniforms after the anthem was finished. Yup, that’s right. He kicked them off the team right then and there...embarrassing them in front of everyone at the game.
Apparently, the coach told them at a prior practice that kneeling during the anthem wouldn’t be tolerated, and if anyone was bold enough to do so, they’d be removed from the team. Instead, he gave them different ideas, like kneeling after a touchdown or posting flyers about why they kneel. But these boys knew that it all wouldn’t have the same meaning, and went ahead with it anyway, really not thinking that they’d never get to play again.
Coach Mitchem was perfectly fine with the choice to kick the teens off the team. According to him they were “disrespecting the flag,” our freedom, and our veterans, with the true meaning behind all of this seeming to go completely over his head SMH.
Yet and still, these young men stood firm in their decision. “I was shocked that he told us to take off our uniform in front of everyone, but I got my point across,” Larry said in an interview. “I am really going to miss playing football because this is my senior year.” Cedric also added, “I was perfectly fine with it. I stood up for what I believed in, to get the message across about all of the police brutality and the oppression of black people in America.”
Besides losing their spots on the team, these guys have gotten several negative comments and even death threats behind the protest. However, the love and respect for these guys far outweighed the haters!
It’s crazy how people continue to completely overlook Black lives and immediately associate kneeling to disrespecting the country. Both Cedric and Larry stood their ground and, sadly, lost their spots on the team in the process. However, the actions of these teens continue to spark discussion surrounding the unjust killings of Black people in America. That should be applauded, not punished.