Michigan players protest during national anthem ahead of today’s game against Penn State.
Numerous members of the Michigan Wolverines football team raised fists during the national anthem today, ahead of the team’s game against Penn State in Ann Arbor. USA Today editor Joe Fleming captured video of the protest, which included linebacker Devin Bush, lineman David Dawson, fullback Khalid Hill, and linebacker Mike McCray. It is hard to tell if other Wolverines were involved.
Michigan players join the anthem protest https://t.co/r8fIB83UyD
— Joe Fleming (@ByJoeFleming) September 24, 2016
Michigan is one of a number of college football programs that have followed Colin Kaepernick’s lead in protesting the anthem, many of which are in the state of Michigan. Three Michigan State players—Delton Williams, Gabe Sherrod and Kenney Lyke—made the same gesture before the Spartans’ game against Wisconsin. Eastern Michigan also saw student protests on the field following the Eagles’ win over Wyoming, in response to racist graffiti messages that popped up around campus earlier this week.
Kaepernick began to protest the national anthem during the NFL preseason. Eventually numerous players around the league joined in, kneeling like the San Francisco 49ers quarterback, raising fists in the air, or in the case of the Seattle Seahawks, joining arms in a show of team unity. Now, the protests appear to be gaining serious steam in college football.
It will be very interesting to see what Jim Harbaugh has to say after the game in response to the Michigan players protest during the anthem. He originally said that he didn’t “respect the motivation” behind his former quarterback’s protest, but later apologized for the statement. Mark Dantonio was supportive of his players after MSU’s game earlier today, stating that “as long as it’s done in a peaceful way, this is America.”
Michigan leads Penn State 21-0 mid-way through the second quarter. The Wolverines are 3-0 on the season, and ranked No. 4 in the country.