In light of the controversy surrounding NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the national anthem before a recent preseason game, other black collegiate and professional athletes have taken similar stances to protest this nation’s problems of racial injustice and equality.
According to local news sources, the black members of West Virginia Tech’s Women’s Volleyball Team knelt during the singing of the national anthem, which is a song that was written by Francis Scott Key. Key was an heir to an aristocratic family that was notorious for slave ownership in the state of Maryland.
Before a game on Wednesday (September 7th), the young black women on West Virginia Tech’s female volleyball team duplicated Kaepernick’s example by kneeling during the singing of “The Star Spangled Banner.” Keyonna Morrow is one of the young ladies on the team that made their protest seen and known.
“[Kaepernick is] exercising his right to choose to sit or stand, so you have to recognize that he’s got that right,” Morrow said in an interview with the local news media. Morrow is also the president of West Virginia Tech’s Black Student Union. Her advocacy for the black student population at her school is very credible.
Morrow is junior at West Virginia Tech and is majoring in athletic coaching education. She believes this nation still has a lot of challenges to face when it comes to eradicating what the great Collin Powell called “the dark vein of intolerance.”
Powell quoted that phrase in a 2013 “Meet the Press” interview where he talked about the rampant racism in the nation’s Republican Party.
“I hope that it just makes people reconsider before they judge someone for something,” Morrow also said. “Everyone should be treated equally, no matter their color age, sex anything,” she continued.
The bravery of Morrow and her fellow black female teammates is very commendable. Young black women like these are privileged to be Division One collegiate athletes, which is the dream of many young girls who are involved in sports.
However, Morrow and her peers have not let their academic and athletic fortune make them forget the widespread injustice being committed in America to this day.