North Texas

SMU Marching Band Members, Students Kneel During Anthem

An image of an SMU marching band member is igniting more conversation about race and the right to protest our national anthem.

In all, five band members took a knee as they played The Star-Spangled Banner before last Friday's football game against TCU at Gerald J. Ford Stadium. The action was part of a protest that's gaining traction across the country.

About 40 fellow SMU students knelt on the sidelines to show their support, too

Student Naomi Samuel helped organize the protest and said the reaction has been mixed, and includes everything from congratulations to insults – both on campus and on social media.

The kneeling movement began earlier this month when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt before an NFL preseason game, protesting the oppression of African Americans.

Several other NFL players have joined the protest in recent weeks, and athletes at North Texas schools have been among those taking part, including the DeSoto High School volleyball team.

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