Students Plan National Anthem Protest during UTEP Homecoming Game
A group of UTEP students plan to make a political statement at the next UTEP home football game by taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem.
The protestors are asking fellow students, alumni, staff, and the community to channel their inner Colin Kaepernick as well and take a stand against police violence and racial injustice along with them.
According to Radical Soup, a self-described “clandestine coven of border children" who share an interest "in facilitating conversations" on certain social issues, the anonymous group of students will refuse to stand during The Star-Spangled Banner at the UTEP homecoming game on October 29, choosing instead to get down on one knee.
Taking a knee is preferred over sitting down by those who wish to show respect for the U.S. military while still making his or her protest.
Per the activist group's website, the students are doing this “in response to incessant police violence against Black, Brown and Indigenous communities, and to confront a general attitude of denial.”
The playing of our national anthem before a sporting event is a powerful tradition in America. Many consider it UN-American to not stand as it plays. In fact, the majority of comments made on the KISS Facebook page regarding this topic found the very idea of the planned protest disrespectful. Some said they would not attend the game as a counter protest.
The football program has had a difficult time filling seats of late, with attendance bordering on all-time lows.
It is not known if any members of the football team are going to participate. As of this writing, UTEP officials have not addressed the public demonstration.