A Massachusetts high school football player is claiming that he was suspended because he took a knee during the national anthem rather than standing, following in the footsteps of Colin Kaepernick, who started a nationwide discussion after he refused to stand for the anthem in protest of the way our nation treats its people of color.
But when Mike Oppong, a junior at Doherty Memorial High School in Worcester, did the same thing, he was punished by his principal and coach. He took to Twitter after the protest, which took place before a game on Friday night, to relate the backlash from his actions, saying, “My coaches and principals have decided to suspend me for 1 game.”
“I’m standing up for the injustice that happens to black people every day, not just cops killing black people,” Oppong told Worcester reporter Carl Setterlund prior to his protest. “We are disrespected and mistreated everywhere we go on a daily basis because of our skin color and I’m sick of it.”
“My teammates have been supporting me the whole way,” he added.
The district’s superintendent, Maureen Binienda, Doherty Memorial’s principal, Sally Maloney, and Oppong’s football coach, Sean Mulchay, have not yet commented on the story.
Ima pull a Colin Kaepernick and sit during the national anthem on Friday
— BLACK LIVES MATTER (@Oppong_5) September 6, 2016
My coaches and principals have decided to suspend me for 1 game.
— BLACK LIVES MATTER (@Oppong_5) September 11, 2016