Newark high school football team’s quiet protest during national anthem
NEWARK — During a week when police shootings of two black men and the aftermath again dominated the headlines, a Brick City high school football team becomes the latest to take a knee during the national anthem.
At least seven members of the Barringer High School varsity team, plus assistant coaches Markyse Joseph and Buchie Ibeh, took the action at the start of their game in Irvington on Friday night, according to NJ Advance Media.
“We see how the cops are treating people and I don’t stand for that, and I don’t think the national anthem should stand for that. Until that changes, I’m not going to stand up. I’m going to keep kneeling," senior Isaiah Gordon, who organized the demonstration, told the press.
The recent police shootings of Keith Scott in Charlotte and Terence Crutcher in Tulsa were a factor in Gordon's decision, he said.
Head coach Ron London told NJ Advance Media that he was unaware players had planned to do that, but supported players being allowed to decide whether to do it.
Camden's Woodrow Wilson High School, the first New Jersey public high school to take a knee, did it last night in their game against Bishop Eustace in Pennsauken.
Coach Preston Brown, noting that Camden and Newark are very similar, said "I support this Newark team, the ones kneeling and standing. It is their right to do as they feel. I would do for them the same way I would do for any player on my team or young guys I have encountered reaching out for help," Tiger coach Preston Brown told New Jersey 101.5. "I stand in solidarity with them."
The Diocese of Camden, meanwhile, has prohibited players at their Catholic schools from demonstrating during the national anthem.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.