More teens took part in the new protest ritual before a game in West Seattle.
It’s almost as if it had become a standardized ritual, some football players taking a knee during the national anthem. But in West Seattle on Friday night, something new was added to the protest: cheer and yell leaders and band members joined in.
The anthem was played shortly before the 7 p.m. Friday game between Garfield High and Chief Sealth International High School.
At the Southwest Sports Complex in West Seattle, Garfield players and cheerleaders took a knee, while band members from the school sat in the stands. The Sealth players stood as their band played the anthem. Then the music ended and that was that. Game time.
It’s been only four weeks since San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick remained seated during the national anthem, and he became news, a focus of social media, and talk-show fodder. It seems longer ago than that in this age of endless internet repetition of news.
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In the stands Friday, it seemed about a 50-50 split between those sitting and those standing for the anthem.
One of those standing was Garfield High Principal Ted Howard.
“That’s not my issue,” he said about taking a knee, saying it was the kids who were making the symbolic gesture. “These kids are going to be the future leaders and they’re leading.”
But mostly, this evening was hot dogs, pizza, kids wrapped in blankets on a crisp fall night, kids texting, kids laughing and yelling.
Friday Night Lights in the U.S.A.