“the band welcomed anyone who wanted to take a knee on the sideline to do so”
From The Cornell Daily Sun:
Members of the Big Red Marching Band became the latest group to join in on the national anthem protests Saturday afternoon before Cornell football’s home opening 21-7 loss to Colgate.
While the band still played the anthem — as it does before each home game — approximately 30 members came together on the sideline to sit out and take a knee. Various other attendees of the game, including a group of fans and several cheerleaders, also elected not to stand for the anthem.
As per tradition for games at Schoellkopf Field, both teams remained in their locker rooms until after the anthem.
According to saxophone player Kevin Linsey ’18, who is a columnist for The Sun sports department, select members of the group took separate time away from practice to discuss the possibility of a demonstration.
In addition to Colin Kaepernick, the ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback who first knelt last season to, as he said, protest racial injustice and police brutality, the group who took part in Saturday’s kneel was inspired by Kyra Butler ’20. Butler took a knee during the anthem at last week’s game at Yale, drawing the attention of her bandmates who wanted to take part as well.
“Word got around and other people saw it as an option too,” Butler said. “Since it got big enough, we talked about it at the band’s exec meeting.”
After making sure Cornell Athletics was on board — which Butler said it was — the band welcomed anyone who wanted to take a knee on the sideline to do so.
“We just wanted to make sure individuals had a chance to express what they wanted to express,” Linsey said.
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