Taking a stand

Students lift knees in protest of protest


Logan Flake

Junior Hunter Riche “joins the #lift-a-kneers movement” during an SHS home football game. Witnesses report that there weren’t even any players taking a knee during the anthem at this particular game.

Hailey Boger, Staff Artist

Fed up with the recent political gestures in the sports world, junior Hunter Riche has decided to take a stand against the widespread ‘take a knee’ protests – quite literally.

Riche and a couple of his friends have started the trend of ‘lifting a knee’ at SHS football games, in which they lift their knee to their chests and hold it there during the entire national anthem. Although red-faced and worn out by the end, Riche believes that lifting a knee will eventually overpower taking a knee in sports games.

“It’s kind of stupid that football players want to just disrespect the flag like that,” Riche said. “They’re doing it for no reason, and I’m sick of it.”

At football games, Riche and his friends reportedly leave the stands and go onto the field to carry out their protest during the national anthem. They aren’t permitted to do that, but they do it anyway and claim ‘freedom of speech’ protects their right to do so.

“Hey, if those ball players are allowed to protest, then so am I,” Riche said.

Senior and football player Jay Nichols doesn’t understand the point of lifting a knee. Being African-American, he noticed that all of the people participating in lifting a knee are white, which is detrimental to the purpose behind taking a knee.

“I just don’t think they understand why we’re kneeling during the games,” Nichols said. “There’s more to it than meets the eye. Honestly, I think they’re the ones being disrespectful.”

Nichols also finds it a little hypocritical, considering he has seen Riche scream and yell about gun rights in his speech class multiple times before.

However, the “lift-a-kneers,” as they call themselves, are not open to listening to criticism of their protest. Brandon Kilder, another participant in the lifting a knee movement, doesn’t let what others say bother him.

“I think that protesting during a sports game is dumb, that’s all,” Kilder said, despite literally participating in a protest of a protest. “This is America, and I can do what I want.”
With the football season almost over, the lift-a-kneers plan to continue their movement during the basketball season, where Riche and Kilder both hope to rally up more participants.
“People just need to keep their issues out of sports and pay attention to the real issues at hand, like who’s going to score that basket,” Riche said.