Norfolk, VA high school football players refuse to stand during national anthem

Courtesy: WAVY-TV

NORFOLK, VA (WNCN) — Members of the Maury High School football team took a knee during the national anthem Friday night.

A WAVY-TV viewer snapped a photo of the team before their football game against Grassfield High School at Powhatan Field in Norfolk.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE FOR A LARGER VERSION. (WAVY-TV photo)
CLICK ON THE IMAGE FOR A LARGER VERSION (WAVY-TV photo)

Nearly all of the members of the team, which went on to lose the game, are not standing during the national anthem.

The coach of the Maury High School team later told a reporter “…if they believe in a cause, that’s fine.”

The controversial display started when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat through the anthem for all three 49ers’ preseason games.

Kaepernick had strong words about why he is doing it: To instigate change and challenge authority when it comes to race relations and what he considers police brutality.

Some say the protest is disrespectful.

The team’s coach later spoke to a reporter with  the Virginian-Pilot.

“Our school system has said, we’re of the belief, of we let our guys do what they believe in,” Maury Coach Chris Fraser told Brian Saunders with the Virginian-Pilot after they lost 17-6.

“And so we didn’t make an issue of it, and if they believe in a cause, that’s fine. I stand behind what they believe in, but also I’m going to do what I believe in,” Fraser said during the video interview with Saunders.

“There’s no problems with that — they sent their message and wanted to do that and so our school system has said that’s their freedom and that’s what we believe in and I stand behind that,” Fraser added in the interview  (video below).

— WAVY-TV contributed to this report

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