Colt football team to enter field arm in arm, expected to stand during national anthem


Gordon Smith

The Colts will enter the field arm in arm tonight and stand for the national anthem despite the kneeling protests currently going around the NFL.

Despite the wave of protests that swept the NFL last weekend, the Colt football team is expected to remain standing during the national anthem tonight before their game against North Crowley.

Protests initially began in August 2016 after 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat during the national anthem to protest police brutality against minorities. The protest was immediately met with controversy.

“Following the episode with Colin Kaepernick, our football team met on a Thursday night for about an hour,” head football coach Scott Peach said. “We discussed everything as a team and I allowed them to make a decision about what they wanted to do regarding the national anthem. At that time we had an awesome dialogue about racial inequalities, the flag, and the national anthem. We decided that our protest would not be around the flag or national anthem.”

Instead of kneeling, the football team decided to add two new horseshoe stickers, one white and one black, to their game helmets to signify the brotherly love on the football team, despite skin color. An arm in arm sticker was also added to the back of the helmet to signify the team standing together as one.

“We decided to have our own form of protest,” Peach said of the stickers. “Just because Colin Kaepernick says that that’s how we’re going to do it, well he doesn’t represent me. So we have our own way of saying we recognize [racial inequality] but we won’t be kneeling.”

Last weekend, a barrage of tweets from President Donald Trump criticizing athletes who chose to kneel during the national anthem prompted even more protests.

Players from several teams, including the Patriots, Jaguars and Broncos, among others, knelt during the national anthem. The entire Steelers team, with the exception of one player, did not take to the field until the anthem was over. The Dallas Cowboys knelt together before the anthem.

Following last weekend the Colt football team will still be expected to stand during the anthem.

Two weeks ago, prior to the mass protest last weekend, we had another meeting that addressed the same issues as last year,” Peach said. “Once again we decided to stand for the national anthem and honor the flag.”

In a Twitter poll run by @TheAHSColt which received 140 votes, 48% of voters said they supported the NFL protests, 16% believed the protests to be a good idea in theory, 19% do not think that politics and sports should intermingle and 17% of voters did not support the protests.

Peach said the team’s decision to stand will be carried out across the school’s entire athletic department. Because the decision to remain standing during the anthem was made unanimously as a team two weeks ago, players will not be expected to kneel tonight.

“Our philosophy is that this is a team sport and we will do things together as a team,” Peach said. “If we walk past that boundary there will be consequences for our actions. Does that mean kids can have their own opinions? Sure, but we voted last year and this year that we will be standing for the national anthem.”

Standing as a team will be the most important thing to Peach tonight.

“At the end of the day, kneeling now will not be acceptable because they made the decision to stand together,” Peach said. “Similarly the Dallas Cowboys made a decision together. They knelt to show the racial inequality in this country, but then stood for the national anthem. The point was they did it as a united front and we are doing the exact same thing.”

As for the Colt’s protest, the team will continue wearing their black and white horseshoes and arm in arm stickers on their helmets this season. The Colts will enter the UTA field arm in arm tonight before they play North Crowley at 7:30 p.m.