Sports | October 13, 2017 11:10 am

Howard University’s Cheerleaders Take a Knee During Anthem

Squad has been doing it since shortly after Kaepernick started protest last year.

A week ago, a former NFL cheerleader told Elle that cheerleaders aren’t wading into the sideline protest debate because “our job as cheerleaders isn’t to create controversy.”

The cheerleaders at Howard University clearly didn’t read that article. According to The New York Times, the historically African-American university’s cheerleading squad has been kneeling during the national anthem for over a year. They started right around the time when Colin Kaepernick began his silent sideline protest last year.

“I think about the national anthem and what it stands for,” said Sydney Stallworth, one the team’s captains. “I think about liberty and justice for all, and how it’s not being executed in our country right now. And I think about how lucky I am to go to the greatest historically black university in the country—not arguably; it’s the greatest—and so lucky to have this platform.”

The university goes one step further, playing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” along with the national anthem. (It’s a hymn that has become known as the “black national anthem.”)