The coaches and players at Woodrow Wilson high school in Camden, New Jersey took a knee in support of Colin Kaepernick, and in protest of social injustices and economic disparities, according to coach Preston Brown on Saturday.
The video, courtesy of NJ.com, shows the entire team kneeling in uniformity, with Brown later explaining to New Jersey Advanced Media that he made decision this week to kneel for the national anthem before the Tigers’ home opener against Highland on Saturday to bring attention to issues plaguing the community.
Brown was planning to kneel by himself, when his team and coaching staff decided to join him.
“All my life I felt like I stood up for the national anthem as a formality,” said Brown after the Tigers’ 13-7 loss. “It never meant that much to me. I still love America. I have nothing against it, and I still love our military and all that they do but it was never a song that moved me. I always just closed my eyes and did it.
“(Because) of recent events that happened the last couple years, things I experienced in college being an African-American student athlete in the south (at Tulane), I felt it was an appropriate time to do that.”
Top Rutgers recruit, and Wilson star Edwin “Tank” Lopez was the only player who chose to stand.
“I was just sticking to the script,” said Lopez. “One little incident in the NFL shouldn’t change that. I was going to do my own thing. It’s a free country. I can see where they were coming from. They can do whatever they want.
Brown used valid points economic divides to explain his point as well, bring up the huge disparity in home values, based off what side of the highway or street you live on.
“For example, the houses in Camden on 36th Street are worth less than $100,000 and on the Pennsauken side they’re worth $180,000 literally across the street, built the same,” said Brown. “I got a four-bedroom on the left side worth $60,000 and across the street it’s $180,000. Whenever I tell people around the country I’m from Camden they don’t exactly smile.”
There’s been no word on whether Brown will face any discipline for the action.
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