WORCESTER (CBS) – Doherty Memorial High School football player, Michael Oppong, and three of his teammates kneeled during the National Anthem at Friday night’s game against Holy Name Central Catholic.
Last week, Oppong was the sole player on the Doherty football team to kneel during the National Anthem, an action similar to ones taken by NFL players in recent weeks. Oppong took to Twitter claiming that he was going to be suspended for the move but that never happened.
Earlier this week, the school released a statement saying the silent protest was in support of a “dialogue on race and equality.”
Superintendent Maureen Binienda spoke with Michael Oppong, his mother and the coach Monday morning.
“The coach had asked him at the game ‘Why did you do that?’ The young man stated that he was going down to tie his shoe. So then, during the weekend, the young man decided he wanted to call the coach and tell him the truth. So he called the coach and said, ‘I wasn’t really going down to tie my shoe, I was doing it as a protest,’” Binienda told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.
“If a coach or team decides they all want to stand for the National Anthem we would like that. But, if anyone chooses not to, then that’s their Constitutional right and we cannot discipline by law,” Binienda said.
Binienda made an announcement at Friday night’s game telling the crowd that, “we’d like everyone to stand. But, if you choose not to stand, you must do so peacefully.”