On Sept. 7, three West Virginia Tech volleyball players joined San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in his protest against the treatment of African-Americans and people of color in America.
The college athletes, who have not all yet been named, showed their support for Kaepernick’s cause by kneeling as the national anthem played at the start of their game Sept. 7.
Among the protesters was Keyona Morrow, the vice president of WVU Tech’s Black Student Union. In a statement to WCHS, Morrow explained she and her teammates participated in the protest because they agree with Kaepernick’s views on race relations in America.
“Everyone should be treated equally, no matter their color, age, sex, anything,” Morrow told reporters. “Everyone needs to be treated the same way.”
Fellow WVU Tech student Tiffany Reavis told WCHS she disagreed with Morrow and her teammates’ stance, but respected their right to protest.
“You stand for the national anthem, regardless. It's kind of like a respect thing for everyone who served, here especially,” Reavis said. "[But] if they want to come together and make a statement, then that's what they should do. For someone to stand up for what they believe in, it encourages other people to do it.”
The players join a variety of athletes who have supported Kaepernick in his protest, including Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, who lost his endorsement with Air Academy Federal Credit Union, according to Sports Illustrated, after kneeling for the anthem on Sept. 8. Controversy for the cause is building in relation to the upcoming weekend, when anthem protests may collide with NFL’s plans to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the twin towers, says Reuters.