Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

UA Students protest during national anthem


Kaepernick started making headlines on Aug. 26, when he took a seat during the presentation of the national anthem in the stadium. The event immediately gained national attention, and has polarized people across the country.

Kaepernick stated after the game in a press conference that he sat because of the ongoing issues of oppression of people of color and police brutality in the U.S.

“When there’s significant change and I feel that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, and this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand,” Kaepernick said in a press conference.

Michael Coates, a junior majoring in criminal justice, was one of the roughly 30 students inside Bryant-Denny 
participating in the protest.

“People are misinformed on the intent of the protest, but there are injustices in this country that we cannot ignore. Myself being an African-American student, I am very much a witness and victim to racial injustices,” Coates said.

Coates acknowledged that people opposing the recent protests have claimed they are unpatriotic, but Coates said that he and other protesters meant no disrespect to the country or veterans. He clarified that protestors wanted to bring issues of racial 
injustice to light.

“People are misinformed and blinded, they don’t see any racism in the country,” Coates said.

Cody Leach, a UA student that attended the football game, shared a photo on Facebook of the protestors, calling their actions shameful. Leach claimed that the act was proof of “moral decay” amongst his generation, and that the students were ignorant of the sacrifices made by veterans for their freedom. Leach has since made this post private.

Leach was contacted for comment, but was unavailable at press time.

“His [Leach’s] entire opposition is the reason we’re doing this,” Coates said.

Dwyer Freeman, a junior majoring in German language and literature, also participated in the protests. Freeman said the protest was an act of solidarity for those “harmed under the flag that’s supposed to represent them.”

Freeman played a large role in initiating the protest and creating a GroupMe that was used to share information about where to sit in the stadium and what to wear. However, she insists the protest had no solid organization.

“I knew a few people that wanted to protest in solidarity,” Freeman said.

She noted that upon creating the GroupMe, it was left to the individuals to decide how to protest.

Freeman said the protest was about “showing support with people across the nation, [and] exposing the backlash that happens among these protests.”

The group of protestors has been actively using social media to share pictures of the event, using the hashtag #bamasits on Twitter.

“The fact that these [protests] get reactions shows that they need to continue,” Freeman said.

She emphasized that this was “not a one-and-done organization.”

Freeman and Coates both suggested that they would continue to perform protests as long as there was an interest among UA students, and that there may be protests at other sporting events as well.

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