Kelly Holstine was at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans to receive her ‘Teacher of the Year Award.’ Holstine is a teacher in Minnesota.
Holstine and other top educators were lined up on the field where the biggest college football game of the year was about to take place.
Before LSU took on Clemson, the teachers were called to the field for the National Anthem. President Trump and first lady Melania Trump were also in attendance.
As the anthem began, Holstine, who was deeply inspired by Colin Kaepernick, took a knee.
Holstine was interviewed by The Hill on Wednesday, and stated that her action was inspired by her desire to speak out on behalf on the marginalized communities that were oppressed by President Trump.
She said, “I think that the current environment that is being created and has been created in his tenure definitely adds to my feelings of wanting to support individuals who are not being supported.”
“I really feel like our country is not serving the needs of all its inhabitants … so many humans right now that are not being given the respect and the rights that they deserve,” she continued.
She posted a tweet on Monday, stating that Martin Luther King, Jr. and Colin Kaepernick inspired her.
The tweet read: “Honored as State Teachers of the Year at NCAA Champ FB Game. Given platform to stand up for marginalized and oppressed people. Like many before, I respectfully kneeled during Nat’l Anthem because, “No one is free until we are all free” (MLK). #imwithkap #blacklivesmatter #LGBTQ”
Kaepernick drew controversy when he chose to kneel during the national anthem at his NFL games in protest of police brutality against minorities. This in turn sparked a heated debate about patriotism and race.
This was not Holstine’s first act of protest. Earlier in the year, she and Jessica Dueñas, Kentucky ‘Teacher of the Year,’ chose to skip the White House ceremony held to honor the teachers who won the prestigious award.
Holstine told The Hill, “The words and practices and policies of this administration have been filled with a lot of hate toward the LGBTQ community, so I didn’t feel comfortable in that environment.”