Daily Egyptian

Taking a stand on one knee

Back to Article
Back to Article

Taking a stand on one knee

Sophomore radio, television and digital media major Czarina Tinker, of Nashville, Tennessee, left, and sophomore psychology major Ariahn Hunt, of Chicago, far right, kneel during the national anthem Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017 before the Salukis' matchup against the University of Northern Iowa Panthers at Saluki Stadium. President Donald Trump publically criticized NFL athletes who kneel during the National Anthem to protest police brutality, late last month.
(Brian Muñoz | @BrianMMunoz)

Sophomore radio, television and digital media major Czarina Tinker, of Nashville, Tennessee, left, and sophomore psychology major Ariahn Hunt, of Chicago, far right, kneel during the national anthem Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017 before the Salukis' matchup against the University of Northern Iowa Panthers at Saluki Stadium. President Donald Trump publically criticized NFL athletes who kneel during the National Anthem to protest police brutality, late last month. (Brian Muñoz | @BrianMMunoz)

Brian Muñoz | @BrianMMunoz

Sophomore radio, television and digital media major Czarina Tinker, of Nashville, Tennessee, left, and sophomore psychology major Ariahn Hunt, of Chicago, far right, kneel during the national anthem Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017 before the Salukis' matchup against the University of Northern Iowa Panthers at Saluki Stadium. President Donald Trump publically criticized NFL athletes who kneel during the National Anthem to protest police brutality, late last month. (Brian Muñoz | @BrianMMunoz)

Brian Muñoz | @BrianMMunoz

Brian Muñoz | @BrianMMunoz

Sophomore radio, television and digital media major Czarina Tinker, of Nashville, Tennessee, left, and sophomore psychology major Ariahn Hunt, of Chicago, far right, kneel during the national anthem Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017 before the Salukis' matchup against the University of Northern Iowa Panthers at Saluki Stadium. President Donald Trump publically criticized NFL athletes who kneel during the National Anthem to protest police brutality, late last month. (Brian Muñoz | @BrianMMunoz)

By Denton "Gio" Giovenco, Sports Editor

While a crowd of 9,112 fans removed their hats and stood at attention for the National Anthem prior to last Saturday’s SIU vs. UNI showdown in Saluki Stadium, three Saluki cheerleaders used the public stage to take a knee in protest.

Sophomore cheerleaders Czarina Tinker, Ariahn Hunt and Alaysia Brandy were unsure of how the rest of the squad would react to their intent to kneel during the anthem, so they decided not to share their plans.

“We actually had protests during the National Anthem … we were being told to stand up from our squad.” Tinker, the radio, television and digital media major said of telling the squad before the game.


Hunt, a psychology major, explained her reasons for kneeling during the anthem.

“It’s not a protest against the flag. It’s not a protest against Donald Trump,” the Chicago native said. “It was a protest for our civil rights that we are still fighting for, that we have been fighting for, for hundreds of years and we’re not getting any justice.”

Brandy, a pre-Med student studying biological sciences, mirrored Hunt’s sentiments.

“Just because it’s 2017 and we’re still fighting for our civil rights that our ancestors have been fighting for, for years,” she said. “Black people and minorities as a whole have still been trying to become equal in society, and it has not changed.”

Tinker’s reason for kneeling focused on how minorities are treated by law enforcement.

“I did it because we still haven’t had justice against police brutality,” the sports media student said. “Nothing has been done and it needs to change ASAP.”

Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, Tinker has been active in protesting police brutality in her home town.

“We do a lot of Black Lives Matter walks and stuff to inform people that we are still fighting and police brutality has to end,” she said.

The most recent protest she took part in organizing was for Eric Garner, a 43-year-old man whose death during an altercation with a New York City Police Department (NYPD) officer was ruled a homicide.

“When he was choked out and he died, that’s when we were like ‘This is not right’; he clearly said he couldn’t breathe and nothing happened [to help him],” Tinker said. “The protest started small with a couple of my friends and we passed out fliers and said ‘Hey, we’re walking across downtown [Nashville]’ and then it just happened. It turned into a lot of people showing support.”

Sophomore pre-med major Alaysia Brandy, of Chicago, kneels during the national anthem Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017 before the Salukis’ matchup against the University of Northern Iowa Panthers at Saluki Stadium. President Donald Trump publically criticized NFL athletes who kneel during the National Anthem to protest police brutality, last week. (Brian Muñoz | @BrianMMunoz)

Hunt is also active in fighting against social injustice as a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) through the SIU chapter, as well as volunteering in the surrounding area.

“We go out and we have protested before,” she said. “We always are active in the community. We help clean up Carbondale; anything that’s going to help benefit our community as a whole.”

Brandy shares a similar history with her squad mates.

“I volunteered in a few protests back home in Chicago,” she said. “And I’ve also done community service and just cleaned up our communities, and volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club.”

All three proclaimed that they fully intend to continue their protests during the anthem going forward.

“I will kneel until this protest continues if that’s what I have to do,” Hunt said.

Brandy further explained what they strive to achieve with their future protests.

“Just for the fact when people say ‘Kneeling doesn’t stop police brutality’, the same way we wear pink to support awareness for breast cancer we’re trying to get awareness for what’s happening in the black communities still,” she said. “Because it’s such a controversial thing and how people are upset that we aren’t standing for the flag — because they feel like we are disrespecting America — it shows awareness and brings attention to our cause. So until the problems are solved, we’re going to continue to kneel.”

As far as having an adequate voice on campus is concerned, the spirit squad members believe their position in front of the public eye affords them a proper platform for their protests.

“They recognize you even outside of campus,” Hunt said. “It happens all the time.”

Brandy agreed.

“All the time,” the pre-Med major said. “At Walmart, when you’re walking down the street, people are like ‘Oh, you are the cheerleaders’, so now we’re going to be the cheerleaders they recognize after today.”

The cheerleaders plan on discussing their choice to protest with the rest of the squad in hopes to foster better understanding of their motives and educate on the underlying societal issues.

“The best way for them to understand where we’re coming from, we will tell them the background because most people don’t know unless it’s what the media tells them,” Brandy said. “The media portrays black people in such a negative light, like if someone gets shot its ‘Oh, he was a gang-banger’ or ‘He was a thug.’”

Brandy plans to explain in detail what she sees as it pertains to how minorities are portrayed in the media.

“They always show mug shots and never show the graduation pictures like they do when people of the majority commit crimes and they have their graduation pictures up,” she said. “They always show us in a negative light. So just to show them what the community is and show them why we’re fighting for this, and maybe they’ll understand.”

Sophomore radio, television and digital media major Czarina Tinker, of Nashville, Tennessee kneels during the national anthem Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017 before the Salukis’ matchup against the University of Northern Iowa Panthers at Saluki Stadium. President Donald Trump publically criticized NFL athletes who kneel during the National Anthem to protest police brutality, last week. (Brian Muñoz | @BrianMMunoz)

Hunt stressed that they are not looking to incite arguments and divide the squad.

“You always have to be peaceful; this is a peaceful protest,” she said. “No matter what, people do have their right to their own opinion and we respect that. But we will stay calm and we will let you know with a calm voice what our point is and we will get across.”

In regards to expectations on how the discussion with the rest of the cheerleading squad will go, Tinker said “We’ll find out at practice.”

With the three Saluki cheerleaders planning on continuing their protests in the future, they want to make clear that their actions do not mean they are unpatriotic.

“This wasn’t a protest against the flag,” Tinker said.

Hunt elaborated on the sentiment.

“We definitely support our country,” she said. “We definitely support the people that fought for our country. We just want support also.”

Brandy finished with a statement that she believes sums up what all three of them are striving for with the protests.

“We just want the equal respect we give to America, we want America to give to us,” she said. “We want society to look at us as equals and that’s all we’ve ever been asking for. And Black Lives Matter.”

Sports writer Denton “Gio” Giovenco can be reached at dgiovenco@dailyegyptian.com or on Twitter @DentonGiovenco.

To stay up to date with all your SIU sports news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.



71 Responses to “Taking a stand on one knee”

  1. Elizabeth on October 4th, 2017 7:32 pm

    As an alumni I want to say I’m proud of these women. It takes courage to do what they did and their reasons were very well stated.

  2. Stephanie on October 5th, 2017 5:31 am

    I’m proud of you for taking a knee! I support your efforts to bring light to the divides still faced by many in this day and age.

  3. Adam on October 5th, 2017 7:10 am

    I’m a two degree alumni and I admire the courage these women showed!

  4. Steve on October 5th, 2017 7:11 am

    What a terrible article written I assume by an ignorant student. What are the school officials saying about this? Are there University policies on this activity? Once they put on a uniform that represents my University, what they want to do isn’t relevant. As an alumni, I don’t want to see this type of behavior. What about stats to back up their claims? We’ve had a Black President, atttorney generals, judges, governors, mayors, police chiefs, etc. They need to think about what they are really protesting about and define it in a better way than citing one incident by one bad individual.

  5. Alahna on October 6th, 2017 11:11 am

    As an alumni maybe worry about your own life instead of trying to bully young black women into conforming to your ignorant and intolerant views.

  6. Basil-Malik on October 6th, 2017 3:18 pm

    You sound ignorant and triggered. I wouldn’t be surprised if no one is proud to have you identified as alumni.

  7. Bobby on October 12th, 2017 6:23 am

    As a real Alumni with plaques on the wall and records in the book, I am not happy you can even say you are an alumni. No true Saluki would be so uninformed. You need to do your home work before speaking.

  8. Rick on October 5th, 2017 7:31 am

    Sad day.

    Protest on your own stage. Not on the schools stage.

  9. JA on October 5th, 2017 9:08 pm

    Steve is obviously an ignorant white guy that has no understanding of the history of black oppression. His attitude towards the fair treatment of black people, which has been absent not only in Carbondale, but in the US (in general), is disgusting. Read some books, Steve. You are the problem.

  10. Nya on October 6th, 2017 4:37 pm

    This a public university supported by public dollars and therefore is a public platform. You people are more pissed about them protesting and not the fact that they, or any decent human being, has to protest at all. If you don’t like it don’t look…simple as that.

  11. Heather on October 5th, 2017 8:25 am

    As an alumni and a Veteran, this totally disgusts me. I will pull all of my alumni support from SIUC if they continue to allow this. This not not the correct venue to protest.

  12. Beth on October 5th, 2017 9:23 pm

    Why, because they are choosing to follow what is right. Pull all of your support, I am sure there will be more to come. What is disgusting is that you are choosing to pull support all, because these women are standing for a GREAT cause has nothing to do with disrespecting veterans and all!

  13. Jason on October 6th, 2017 8:24 am

    What would be the correct venue? The idea of any protest is to gain the attention of others to one’s concerns. On that basis, it’s hard to think of a better venue. I am also an alumni (though not a veteran, and I thank you for your service!), and remember SIUC as being recognized as a place where Black and African-American students had an important presence on our campus.

  14. Alahna on October 6th, 2017 11:09 am

    And who gave you the authority to chose when and where American citizens can exercise their rights? And I’m sure the college will survive without that $20 you send every year.

  15. Bobby on October 12th, 2017 6:36 am

    I am Alum of SIUC also, with generations of family members that fought for this country. Some of them were never the same when they came back, yet they still had to endure racism after sacrificing.

  16. Kahari on October 5th, 2017 9:01 am

    Great job ladies!

  17. Holly Wolfe on October 5th, 2017 9:03 am

    It is my understanding that the Spirit Squad serve as ambassadors of the university in addition to being a role model of services, scholarship and leadership. That being said, I feel that the 3 cheerleaders who knelt disrespected the University. Their coaches were on the same sideline and allowed it to happen. I agree with their right as an individual to express their thoughts and beliefs but when they don that uniform they no longer represent themselves, they represent the University as a whole. If they choose to kneel during the anthem, they should be required to do it in private as long as they are wearing the uniform or they can take the uniform off.

  18. Alahna on October 6th, 2017 11:07 am

    You probably check your Facebook during the anthem so please keep you comments private you shouldn’t be allowed to voice your opinions in public maybe writ it in your journal

  19. Etha Dangbar Anderson on October 5th, 2017 9:08 am

    As a SIU-C Alumna I proudly stand with the 9112 fans who are proudly standing.

  20. Jim Profilet on October 5th, 2017 1:03 pm

    I’m glad I saw this post. I won’t be attending any SIU sporting events if these cheerleaders are going to do this.

  21. Alahna on October 6th, 2017 11:06 am

    Good more room for educated individuals.

  22. H A Kelley on October 5th, 2017 1:15 pm

    It’s a disgrace! They should be forced to leave the university! I understand that they have a right to protest. However, during the national anthem, you are to stand. If they want to protest, they need to do it at another time. These actions only create a further divide. It shows a lack of respect for the anthem and our, their country. How about this? Instead of protesting, let them be proactive and show American how to be patriotic and civil and involved in things that improve the quality of life for all. We are all created equal. We may not all be treated equal. So change that. Not protesting the anthem.

  23. Grace on October 8th, 2017 10:49 pm

    They specifically say in the article that what they are protesting is not the anthem.

  24. Thomas Barrett on October 16th, 2017 3:19 am

    anybody who thinks kneeling during the national anthem is the uneducated unpatriotic liberal idiot that is brain washed by the narrative of the left. George Soros and Obama started this crap to divide the country and kill our history and traditions of patriotism so they could make us a socialist or communist country. You are not thinking for your selves your just reciting the narrative and when you cannot win the argument you call people racist and stupid. You are the stupid followers of the left that are dividing the nation. These girls have no discrimination to complain about. They are going to college and on the cheer leading squad and will likely graduate and get good jobs. What specifically are the protesting?They are just following the example of some over paid idiots in the NFL who are ruining that business and are disrespecting the traditions of our country. If you insist on demonstrating, go ahead but not during the Anthem, there are more appropriate times to do it. Your just pissing off the real Americans who fought and died for the freedom we have in this country. If you disagree with me I have no respect for you and you can go stick your head up your ass because that is where it belongs.

  25. Bobby on October 12th, 2017 6:41 am

    H A Kelley,

    What have you done to change things?

  26. Paul on October 5th, 2017 1:51 pm

    Proud of you ladies!!! And to those that are offended by I’m happy that you are offended! Maybe it invoke some changes in the thinking process of some people!! Because if you weren’t or aren’t equally offended by events like Tamir rice being shot for playing in the park by police officers who didn’t even get out of their cars to investigate and suffered to reprimand then you my friend are part of the problem!!

  27. Scott on October 5th, 2017 2:45 pm

    Embarrassed to be an alum from Southern Illinois.

  28. Snidely Whiplash on October 5th, 2017 7:52 pm

    Those girls have it real bad. One more reason that SIU-C has gone downhill for the last 20 years. Much of it stems from Chicago influence.

  29. Bobby on October 12th, 2017 6:27 am

    It evident that you are a racist!

  30. Shanna Angus on October 5th, 2017 3:41 pm

    I definitely agree with you. Civil rights, they are going to a top school and are on the Spirit Squad so tell me how are they oppressed.

  31. Alahna on October 6th, 2017 11:04 am

    Turn on the news and pick up a book

  32. Basil-Malik on October 6th, 2017 3:21 pm

    You wouldn’t understand. It’s obviously above your humanity grade.

  33. P J Suggs on October 5th, 2017 3:46 pm

    The reason there is racial divide in this Country is for the fact these women and others like them believe there is and they continue in the same mentality due from entitlement.
    To be respected you must respect. Black Lives Matter is racist bigot organization that terrorizes events and suppresses a peaceful organized event by being disobedient.
    And you wonder why you don’t receive equal respect and treatment?
    Racial injustice and protest that include riots and vandalism of your own communities yet these girls blame everyone but themselves for inciting the disobedience.

  34. BHARRIS on October 5th, 2017 5:32 pm

    As an alum, I am proud of you ladies! One is quick to say it’s disrespectful, that you are wrong because you represent the university or because you are wearing the uniform. That’s garbage! Several officers were wearing uniforms when they committed harmful acts on African Americans. With or without a uniform, you are!! Keep kneeling young people… while you are down there, pray that the Lord have mercy on those that persecute others and give us the strength and wisdom to overcome!

  35. Jade pagan on October 5th, 2017 5:42 pm

    I’m proud to be attending siu with strong courageous women like the three who publicly protested and took a knee to show all those ignorant siu alumni who disagree with it that there still needs to be improvement in America when it comes to police brutality! There is still a problem in America that needs to be changed and instead of yelling and throwing a tantrum at women who want to express and protest towards a change, maybe we should all look at this situation and address the problem instead of getting mad at these girls and people who take a knee. These people aren’t disrespecting America, they are simply just Americans who want change.

  36. Kelsie on October 5th, 2017 6:03 pm

    I’m an extremely proud of these women! Everyone that is upset will never understand how deep this situation really goes. They probably have never been bullied or made of of because of their skin color. I come from a small town in southern Illinois and there were a small amount of minorities in my graduating class. There were times where I was called names or made fun of because I was African American. If people could see through others eyes maybe they would understand. Until then they are going to continue to knock you down. This women are extremely brave for taking a stand!

  37. Adam Myer on October 5th, 2017 6:57 pm

    Yeah there is no reason to kneel and you’re not brave for taking a knee nor are you suppressed, stand up or go dance Division 3

  38. James on October 5th, 2017 7:19 pm

    These ladies displayed an extremely selfish act as they care nothing about their fellow cheerleaders. It’s not about their squad, team, coaches, alumni, or university. It’s about them and the false narrative that they are trying to promote. I don’t believe in any cause that supports chants of killing police. I too, will not be attending any future SIU athletic events until something is done to stop and punish this behavior.

  39. Erica on October 5th, 2017 7:29 pm

    Amazing! I’m so glad you all are using this platform to keep the pressure on, especially when so many wish to silence you. I am alumni and I support this protest.

  40. Eris Morreti on October 5th, 2017 8:10 pm

    So proud of these ladies. It took a lot of courage.

  41. Mark on October 5th, 2017 8:17 pm

    I’m willing to bet the “Alumni” who only posted with their first names and no pictures either 1) Don’t go to any games anyway, 2) don’t donate to the alumni association, and 3) never even went to SIU in the first place.

    If you feel that strongly about it, stand behind your comments. Use your real name and show us your face. These ladies have more courage and integrity in their little fingers than any of you hiding behind anonymity on the internet.

    I never went to SIU, but I’m also not a crying snowflake claiming to withhold money if I don’t get my way, either.

  42. Candice J. on October 5th, 2017 9:06 pm

    Great job ladies! As an alumni I support you 100%!

  43. Randy on October 5th, 2017 10:14 pm

    I would like for Brandy to find one mugshot of a white or as she called them a majority offender in his graduation attire. . I believe if you look at the picture that the media used it showed Michael Brown in his cap and gown every time. She needs to get her facts straight before making these type of comments. I’m for equal rights but get it right when you make a statement or you look and sound ignorant

  44. Kitty on October 5th, 2017 10:22 pm

    Their words say one thing. Their actions say another: childish disrespect which is not the image I want for SIU? I’m curious. Who is paying for their college education?

  45. Jeff Hayner on October 5th, 2017 10:54 pm

    Alum of 1989. What aren’t these young ladies being allowed to do that others are? Aren’t they getting a college education? Haven’t they been selected to the Cheer Squad? I’m sure others didn’t get into SIU-C and that others got cut from the squad. They have every opportunity afforded to others….it’s what people do with those opportunities that sets them apart. We have all had to work harder than others for certain things in life or to get specific results that we wanted. They have their right to protest…I just strongly disagree with it.

  46. Tania on October 5th, 2017 10:56 pm

    As an alumni, I am so proud of these three women! But the pictures from the article also made me wonder, why aren’t any of the white girls taking a knee in support of their black friends and colleagues??? That, to me (as a someone who is also white), was the most disappointing aspect of this story. This is really a time when we need to all stand (or in this case, take a knee) together.

  47. Bill N on October 16th, 2017 4:18 pm

    As an alumni, you should brush up on your reading comprehension because in the first two sentences of the article it says they “decided not to share their plans with the squad.” I am an alumni also and was disgusted when I learned of this on the news. The fact that they didn’t share their plans with the rest of the squad says it all!

  48. Sandra Strech on October 6th, 2017 7:37 am

    These women are attending a university known for its history of inclusion. The fact that they are in any university demonstrates their lack of knowledge and understanding of how far this nation has come to support women and minorities. They aren’t even in agreement about what they are protesting! To them I say “Do your ‘look at me’ thing on your own time. When you wear a uniform representing the the university, or any organization, you respect that uniform.” They and their coach should be reprimanded and this practice stopped immediately!

  49. Janet George on October 6th, 2017 9:58 am

    I’m confused. What part of standing on a Division 1 football field, ( attending school on scholarship probably) dressed in your brand new university cheer uniform, your brand new white addidas tennis shoes, your beautiful long hair tied back in a beautiful maroon and white bow representing YOUR school (of choice), and looking healthy, happy and obviously living a very blessed life have to do with showing people how oppressed you are?? If you feel the need to protest, find someone that is oppressed so us people trying to understand can actually SEE and HEAR what real oppression is. You my dears are not the example of oppression! I do have to say you are very beautiful young women. Find another way!!

  50. Jayne on October 6th, 2017 10:20 am

    All the people “disgusted” by this, instead of telling people of color what they should do and how they should feel, take a moment to consider the possibility that you don’t know everything inherently and actually listen to the message the POC community is trying to convey. Hear their experiences and their reasoning rather than assuming your pre-conceived notions are always correct.

    And to these very brave women, keep it up. This is the American spirit, the freedom to speak out for your beliefs, and the passion to try and make your country a better place to live.

  51. Alahna on October 6th, 2017 11:03 am

    Alum? You people commenting probably never even got a degree considering you don’t know that every American citizen has the right to protest. “I’m pulling funding” keep that $29 bucks you think makes you entitled to make executive decisions. This is a college. A place of education. So go educate yourselves because you sound like a bunch on inbred hicks. Fake veterans. Real soldiers fight to protect the RIGHTS of thier citizens not a piece of cloth.

  52. Kym Mizell on October 6th, 2017 11:56 am

    We’ll, I think it’s STUPID to take a knee during the national anthem. Think of the soldiers who fought and died so we could sing that anthem! Don’t be so selfish to think it’s only about you and your “CAUSES”! You’re there to be a CHEER LEADER, not to further your own agenda! Lots of other girls would love to take your spot!

  53. John Butchen on October 6th, 2017 11:59 am

    get off your knees and stand for your national anthem. When did acting like a moron become a trend ? I will not be supporting SIU

  54. Paulette on October 6th, 2017 12:31 pm

    “It’s not a protest against the flag . . .” ? Perhaps, if a person has to explain what it is or isn’t it might be best to find another way to protest (like the other ways mentioned). Everyone will not be able to understand why you are doing what you do if not further explained. Otherwise, it will be what it appears and as the age old saying goes, “actions speak louder than words”.

  55. James on October 6th, 2017 12:37 pm

    If you are offended by this, but stay silent on police brutality and racism, then you are part of the problem. Glad the ladies had the courage.

  56. Sara Dunn on October 6th, 2017 12:43 pm

    You are there representing the salukis. That is your one job in that uniform and you have failed at it. You are only hurting the team and school. I will not participate with any saluki events until this behavior has been stopped. This is not your platform. Do as you wish on your own time. I find this behavior in poor taste and judgement. I pray the school puts an immediate stop to this

  57. Valued Alumn on October 6th, 2017 1:38 pm

    As an accomplished alumn, I am so proud of these young women. The courage these ladies are exhibiting is what the University should be *teaching,* not ‘tolerating.’ These young ladies will go far in any career they choose because they are strong, intelligent, and facing major adversity like champs. I only hope there are faculty and administrators accessible to them, that will encourage them and build them up while it seems the community tears them down. Regarding the cause, good for them in using their platform to create change and bring a voice to those who can’t speak.

  58. Melinda on October 6th, 2017 2:23 pm

    All of you talking big shit stfu the kneeled on the national anthem so what that’s not hurting SIU one bit now y’all
    not attending no events or supporting this school you people are hilarious. Because they attend here now they are no longer opressed words from the oppressor though……. who cares if y’all mad get over it we’ve been mad for years about being shot down hung and assualted y’all mad about somebody kneeling.

  59. Drebrown on October 7th, 2017 4:43 am

    I went to SIUC and I’m surprised and disgusted by the responses on this article. Alumni talking about pulling their support because some cheerleaders protested?? They are protesting the unarmed killing of black men. Do you care that people in this country are being targeted and killed by law enforcement officials for no reason? Does that bother you? If you lived in a place where your race was targeted for violence by law enforcement officials and it had gone on for over 400 years what would you do? Nobody is protesting the flag or disrespecting our troops. Stop making that the basis of your arguement. If you are graduates of SIUC I know that you have have the ability to understand the difference between hating our country and disrespecting our flag and bringing attention to unfair treatment. We live in this country and should be treated fairly. Black men have played a role in building this country and died on the battle field here and abroad to protect its freedoms yet are targeted for violence by people who were sworn to protect all people. Please put your entitlement aside and try to see the difference.

  60. Atiba Hodari on October 7th, 2017 12:27 pm

    I don’t think ANYONE should stand for this violent, racist, stolen revision of “Anacreon in Heaven.” Not only was its writer a slaveowner and well known anti-abolitionist, he referred to blacks as “a distinct and inferior race of people.”
    I learned all of this while attending SIU as a History major in 1994.
    I haven’t stood since and I don’t think anyone with knowledge of its racist roots should.

  61. MICHAEL N on October 7th, 2017 5:40 pm

    I fully support a person’s right to protest. But there is a time and a place for them, and while representing your school is not one of them. What bothers me more is that I haven’t heard anything from the coaches about their actions. They went off the playbook, so to speak, and pulled this crap without prior permission. They should be removed if their actions continue.

  62. Marsha on October 7th, 2017 7:26 pm

    My question is why does it have to be during the national anthem? There are many other avenues to show your protest. Just what SIU needs — more negative publicity to further decrease enrollment.

  63. Audrey Wagner on October 7th, 2017 10:11 pm

    As an alumni and an employee of SIU, I’m proud of the ladies. They are articulate contributors to our community, and are calling attention to an important shortcoming in our country: the absence of equal justice for all. Black lives matter!

  64. Kendra on October 8th, 2017 1:28 am

    SIU Nothing has changed? Civil Rights that you are still fighting for? So you can attend school with white people, you can drink from the same water fountain, ride the same bus and sit where ever you want to, CIVIL RIGHTS for black people have came along a lot further than you realize. Black people have the same opportunities as white people, anyone can serve as a teacher, police officer, lawyer, congress man, and even president.

    What needs to stop is crying for injustices and what needs to start is to use your creative brains for more solutions to these problems and not creating a larger wedge between races and not working with police to create solutions for these problems. Are there injustices at times? Yes. Kneeling hasn’t helped yet has it? Seriously is it working? No, if anything it has further drove a wedge between people for these “Civil Injustices”. Yes, All students have the right to freely express their views and examine all questions of interest. And all students have the right to be free from discrimination or harassment based on race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, age, physical or mental disability, or military or veteran status, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. How is this not discriminating against any one that has ever served for what the flag represents? If you don’t agree with what POLICE are doing don’t be kneeling for the FLAG when the FLAG represents that you have the FREEDOM OF SPEECH, you have the freedom to assemble other peaceful ways to find SOLUTIONS. KNEELING IS NOT A SOLUTION, kneeling is an attempt to “expose” the problem enrages people, some for the injustices and rises the fire inside of people but that is leading to more hate, not solutions. STOP THE KNEELING, FIND SOLUTIONS to the civil injustices.

  65. Bobby on October 12th, 2017 6:53 am

    Actually, the kneeling is working. Even though the protest has nothing to do with the flag, it has help to bring out the TRUE feeling of some Americans like yourself. See, most whites don’t know that racism still exist because it’s normal to them to see blacks as second class.

  66. James on October 9th, 2017 10:17 pm

    I’m an alum and a Iraq veteran (somehow this fact is relevant) and I think what they did takes guts and I’m proud that this type of speech is allowed at SIUC. A college campus is actually a great place to engage in a national discourse and find your voice.

  67. Pastor Dave on October 16th, 2017 7:39 pm

    I am extremely upset and horrified about the three African American cheerleaders who for the second time in a row “took a knee” during the singing of the National Anthem. This action is offensive to all true, God fearing, patriotic Americans of every race and creed, and it should not be tolerated at all by any of the athletic department and the administration of SIU. Am I prejudiced or a racist, not at all; these women simply must be censored for their despicable behavior, and other athletes must not be allowed to continue such protests.
    If they do not apologize, repent, and show honor and respect for our flag and our National Anthem, they need to be removed from the cheerleading squad immediately and relinquish any scholarships they may be receiving from the University. I hope the University will take such appropriate action and hold these women accountable for their inappropriate attitude and behavior. They are a disgrace to SIU and poor role models to say the least.
    I have not made up my mind for certain yet, and I haven’t talked to my wife, but I am thinking that we may just stop attending future Saluki football and men’s basketball games and demand a refund of all the money we have spent for our tickets. I would hate to have to do this, but if “push comes to shove,” I may in all good faith have no other course of action to take.
    I attended SIUC for five quarters my freshman year in college before transferring to Asbury University, nee College, at the beginning of my sophomore year in the fall of 1967. As a patriotic citizen and an evangelical, biblical Christian pastor I must speak up on issues such as these.
    As with all domestic and international issues I proudly stand with President Trump on this one as well and with Rodney Head who burned his four sets of season tickets to the Indianapolis Colts when they showed the same disrespect for our flag and National Anthem.

    Pastor Dave,
    Retired Clergy Illinois Great Rivers Conference of the United Methodist Church

  68. Zoe Smyth on October 16th, 2017 8:05 pm

    The flag still waves and feels proud. You should as well. The fact that people are calling these girls the N-word, making physical threats, sexual assault threats, says that there is a problem. Nothing, absolutely NOTHING they have done, warrants that type of response. That fact that people are responding like that speaks louder than their protest. And these are the good Christian folks. Please, I pray, don’t let the heathen show up!!

    Shame, shame, SHAME ON YOU!!!

  69. Marisa on October 18th, 2017 8:27 am

    What is truly appalling is that these young women have received death threats for exercising their First Amendment rights. I can’t imagine how they must feel. Brave women doing what they believe is right in spite of threats from racist bigots. Brave women thinking for themselves and putting what is right ahead of their personal safety. SIU should be proud of these young women. SIU should be ashamed of the responses they have received from their fellow students.

    If you are an alumnus and you are offended and never want to attend another game, that’s fine with me. I would feel safer knowing there are fewer racists hanging around the campus.

    If you are upset about people disrespecting the military, get off this thread and pile on your chosen leader and draft dodger Donald Trump who managed to insult the grieving widow of a soldier who died in Niger while our president tweeted about what happens at football games. Support the troops and the rights of your fellow citizens at the same time by opposing the fascist dictator and his white supremacist minions if you actually care about America. Bullying three cheerleaders is not the way to make America great again. If that’s too hard to understand, just keep reading it over and over and maybe it will sink in.

  70. Chris on October 28th, 2017 3:05 pm

    You want to impress me…probably not, but anyways, if you really want to have an impact on a society it will be found at the grassroots level. Work within the communities that you are from or feel have been effected by police brutality or any other injustice. Help the very people you feel you are in alignment with. With with the community and the local police to help bring a better understanding and close that gap. Maybe have the community participate in a community watch group to help teach the youth about caring for a community takes a community. If that’s too much for you to do then your not worth listening too. All taking a knee does is divide people and overshadow your cause.

  71. Caring Human Being on March 25th, 2019 8:27 pm

    Honestly, these girls have every right to protest and if this police brutality and racism continues our world won’t be a good one. When we talk about racism we aren’t just talking about kids getting bullied at school or getting cut in line. We are talking about peoples lives in danger. I’m a white person standing up for what’s right and we need to have more people as well. #BlackLivesMatter

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.

The student news site of Southern Illinois University