Howard University Cheerleaders Continue to Kneel During National Anthem

@versaillesboy via Twitter screenshot
@versaillesboy via Twitter screenshot

In support of the stance started by now-former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the cheerleaders of Howard University continue to kneel during the national anthem, as they have done since last season.

The New York Times reports that during the university’s most recent game against North Carolina Central University, Howard’s cheerleaders knelt, and when the “black national anthem” was played afterward, they stood with raised fists.

Because Howard is an HBCU, the kneeling cheerleaders executed their act of protest en masse, unlike at predominantly white institutions, where a few black cheerleaders have taken a knee by themselves—and been booed for it. There were no boos at Howard’s William H. Greene stadium Oct. 7.


“I think about the national anthem and what it stands for,” said co-captain Sydney Stallworth to the Times. “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 HU cheerleaders have taken the stance since September 2016, shortly after Kaepernick began his silent protest on NFL sidelines.


“It’s not surprising that when there’s an anthem protest, you see HBCUs at the forefront of the resistance, because that’s where we’ve always been,” said political pundit and Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill, who has also held a professorship at Morehouse College, which he also attended as an undergraduate.

It’s also not surprising that black women are at the fore of the forefront.

Read more at the New York Times.

Ms. Bronner Helm is the Senior Editorial Director at Colorlines. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.

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stephen Weber

The minimum decorum that citizens should show for the national anthem is to stand. But since the act of kneeling is universally known and accepted as the most respectful position that a human can take, it should not itself be called disrespecting the flag. To those that want to claim that this is disrespecful, their argument falls simply on the Intent of the kneeling persons. Since they were clear that their intent is about racial injustices that still exist in America, the people booing are just the racists. Kneeling is the most respect you can show anyone or anything and it will continue to be on this planet.