Many of the young Black athletes inspired by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protest against police violence have endured hate and death threats for their actions. Now, as the New York Daily News’ Shaun King reported yesterday (October 17), a football team in Texas faces significant sanctions for their protest.
The Beaumont Bulls consists primarily of Black preteens. As reported by Bleacher Report last month, the playoff-bound team first received support from its board and league for a September 10 kneeling protest by players and coaches. Team officials came to their defense after they received vitriolic threats to their lives. But parents report that they later threatened suspension if the team continued the protest. The Bulls kneeled again on September 17, and the team board suspended coach Rah-Rah Barber. An email from the board obtained by Bleacher Report denied that the protest led to Barber’s suspension, citing his alleged improper removal of a coach and player from the team.
Several parents told the Daily News that they were forbidden from attending their children’s games after supporting the protest. They also said that the board responded to ongoing outrage from players by suspending the team, despite the fact that families already paid fees and the team was bound for the league playoffs.
Supporters are uplifting the hashtag #BeaumontBulls to get the team and coaches who were suspended or resigned reinstated.