The butterfly effect set off when Colin Kaepernick took a knee continues to reverberate across society. On Saturday, the Yale football team joined the ongoing national protest movement that has melded sports, politics and the generational question of institutional racism in a historic manner.
The incident was only widely reported today, but happened during the Yale Bulldogs’ contest against Holy Cross. Approximately 15 members of the 98-man roster kneeled in solidarity with NFL players. Though the majority of the National Football Leagues players are of African descent, Yales football team is mostly white.
I support our players in anything they do to express themselves and their feelings, head coach Tony Reno said. Were one family, and one of the unique things about Yale is we have people from all over the country and all different geographic areas and all different religions and whatever it is, but we embrace each other for who we are, and we are one football team.
FB: For the first time this season, members of Team 145 knelt before the anthem. https://t.co/K7y69jVvfa
Like many of their NFL counterparts, many of those who did protest were spurred to so following a September 23 victory over Cornell, the same day Donald Trumps most recent offensive against the NFL began. However, some were moved to act for other reasons.
Wide receiver Myles Gaines and Tim Dawson II kneeled for several games at the start of the season before the entire team elected to stay in the locker room during the anthem.
Following the Trump diatribe and Renos support, they were joined by cornerback Malcolm Dixon, defensive end Devin Moore, and several other players in a group chat with the entire team.
Somebody tweeted, Youre getting an Ivy League education, what do you have to complain about? Moore said. Even here, its a reality its not like its just some faraway part of America. Its being a black person. Its just something thats very real. If we turned a blind eye to it or didnt do something [about] it, it would be almost like letting it happen.
Currently, the National Football League is hashing out plans to somehow support the fight against institutional racism in the criminal justice system. Yale University was founded in 1701 in New Haven, Connecticut. Its role in slavery is well-documented. So, despite what some critics are saying, this is as good a place to stage this protest as any.