Div. III Football Player Stands For Anthem By Himself As Rest Of Team Stays In Locker Room
Before you scoff, Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, is the alma mater of Jodi Benson, who was the voice of Ariel in the film The Little Mermaid, and is also home of the National Bird Feeding Society. So yes, it's incredibly famous -- but now more than ever.
Millikin is front and center on the National Anthem protest front, after its entire football team remained in the locker room as the National Anthem was being played prior to Saturday's game.
Well, almost the entire team. Except for one guy.
Millikin's Connor Brewer, a sophomore offensive lineman from Springfield, Illinois, was the lone Millikin player to occupy his team's sideline as the Anthem was being played. He was there, by himself, as the full squad of opposing players faced him from across the field.
— WGN TV News (@WGNNews) October 18, 2016
Brewer refused to talk about his one-man non-protest, except to say that he needed to talk to his coaches and teammates before he made a statement. As for his teammates, they issued a statement by email to students and faculty:
Rather than have our message be misunderstood or misconstrued, we are united in our decision to stay in the locker room until kickoff during which time we will engage in a moment of reflection to personally recognize the sacrifice of so many and renew our commitment to living up to those most important words: "with liberty and justice for all."
Today that's considered a protest ... but did you know that in the NFL, nobody stood for the National Anthem until 2009? Prior to that, everyone stayed in their locker rooms during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner. They only came out and stood during the song when the defense department started paying the NFL.
At Millikin, whose football team participates in Div. III, reaction is divided. Some support the players, and others are outraged -- the latter group is supporting Brewer, however. So the entire thing remains confusing, and makes my head hurt.
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