It seems Colin Kaepernick is having an affect on even 8-year-old football players.
Youth football players on the Cahokia Quarterback Club football team (who are 8 and under) in Belleville, Illinois, all took a knee during the national anthem before a game on Sunday. They “protested” while kneeling away from the flag, according to a local St. Louis news station.
A member on the twenty-five size youth football team reportedly asked their coach, Orlando Gooden, if he saw people protesting and rioting in St. Louis. After asking the player if he knew why they were protesting, the player said, "Because black people are getting killed and nobody's going to jail.”
Gooden said he had talked to them about the Jason Stockley decision and “other situations that have happened in our country,” including Kaepernick’s choice to kneel to protest police injustice against black people.
One of the players asked if they could kneel like Kaepernick and Gooden responded, “As long as we know why we're doing it, I don’t have a problem with any of it.”
Last year, Seattle-area high-school football players also decided to kneel rather than stand while the anthem played prior to their football game.
“What I teach my kids is love, integrity, honesty, fairness, respect and boundaries,” Gooden said. “As long as I have support of my parents and team, I’m perfectly fine, and I'm covered under the First Amendment to peacefully protest and assemble.”
Reportedly, all of the parents on the football team supported the coach’s decision to take a knee. However, a Facebook post by Gooden’s wife was met with some backlash.