Garfield High turned heads in Seattle when the entire football team and coaching staff took a knee during the national anthem of last week’s game against West Seattle. Now, the program is officially committing to taking a knee throughout the remainder of the 2016 season, no matter what criticism may come its way.
The Garfield football program released a statement about the group’s unified decision to kneel throughout future national anthems explaining why the team had decided to take a political stand. As enumerated by MyNorthwest.com, here are the Bulldogs’ iterated reasons for continuing to take a knee, all while leaders simultaneously lobby for meetings with civic leaders to discuss their concerns.
The statement specifically points out areas of deep concern for the football players, including:
• Equality for all regardless of race, gender, class, social standing and/or sexual orientation — both in and out of the classroom as well as the community.
• Increase of unity within the community. Changing the way the media portrays crime. White people are typically given justification while other minorities are seen as thugs, etc.
• Academic equality for students. Certain schools offer programs/tracks that are not available at all schools or to all students within that school. Better opportunities for students who don’t have parental or financial support is needed. For example, not everyone can afford advanced placement testing fees and those who are unable to pay those fees are often not encouraged to enroll in to those programs. Additionally, the academic investment doesn’t always stay within the community.
• Lack of adequate training for teachers to interact effectively with all students. Example: Why is my passion mistaken for aggression? Why, when I get an A on a test, does the teacher tell me, “Wow, I didn’t know you could pull that off.”
• Segregation through classism.
• Getting others to see that institutional racism does exist in our community, city, state, etc.
The next act in the Bulldogs’ kneeling highlight reel will come Friday against Chief Sealth. Garfield remains 3-0, while Chief Sealth enters with an 0-3 record.