Note to readers: This story contains offensive language.
The Clear Creek (Iowa) Amana football team is coming together to support receiver Darius Moore after a racist social media post about him kneeling before a game surfaced Friday night.
CCA students said that Moore kneeled during the national anthem before last week’s game at West Delaware. The team was behind the field during the anthem, though, so Moore wasn’t seen. Then, at practice this week, students say Moore said he’d kneel again during the anthem Friday night. But he didn’t have an opportunity, as the anthem was played before CCA’s freshman game against Marion.
Moore’s father, Darryl Moore, posted a photo on Facebook of a Snapchat that surfaced during his son’s varsity game against Marion. The photo is taken from the perspective of someone in the crowd. It features Moore, who is black and Native American, wearing his No. 2 jersey, with a red circle drawn around him.
The message: “kick this f—— ni—- off the football team like honestly who the f— kneels for the national anthem”
Moore addressed the situation in a Twitter direct message he sent to the Press-Citizen and Register Saturday night.
“Just wanted to emphasize the fact that my mom in Sioux City drilled into my head as a younger boy that ‘you aren’t going to be treated like your friends,'” Moore wrote. “And (I) really didn’t understand what it meant until I faced adversity for the first time when I was on an elevator with another woman and she clenched her purse as if I was going to take it. But that’s one of many examples that black (people like) me have to go through as far as being profiled daily in America.”
As of Sunday morning, the original Facebook post had been shared 802 times with 1,126 comments.
“For these words to be used towards our son, a young man who is attempting to do what he feels is right and how America is supposed to be, shows how far we have regressed,” Darryl Moore wrote in the post. “All we can do is pray that people open their minds and understand that we don’t all have to agree to show basic respect to one another. Taking a knee is not meant to offend anyone who has served for our country, as we have multiple family members who have served in the past and who are currently overseas fighting for our privilege of freedom today. We must progress to equality and these hateful words should never, ever be tolerated.”
Clear Creek Amana Community School District superintendent Tim Kuehl texted the following statement to the Press-Citizen and Register:
“The Clear Creek-Amana Community School District, as an education institution, supports the free exchange of ideas embodied by the First Amendment. The District will not interfere with a student’s right of expression by peacefully kneeling or sitting during the traditional standing for the National Anthem. Our schools pride themselves on providing a respectful learning environment for every student. It is District policy and practice that students will not be discriminated against in the education program, and that harassment or bullying of students will not be tolerated. Any conduct which violates these policies will be handled by school officials in accordance with law. It is our hope that students, parents, and the community alike will take the opportunity to learn from this situation.”
Teammates and fellow CCA students rallied around Moore after the game on social media. Running back Matt Brimeyer, who is white, wrote a lengthy note, in which he said, “(Moore) is my brother just as much as everybody else. If you have a problem with him then you have a problem with me.”