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Kaepernick’s Protest Forced Nonwhite Peers of This Seattle Football Team to Address Systemic Racism

A Seattle high school football team — inspired by San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick’s protest — has won every game so far this season after years of dismal losses. The Garfield High School Bulldogs’ commitment to fighting police brutality has catapulted them into the national spotlight.

In a CBS Evening News profile, football players Jelani Howard and Jason Nguyen explain why their team continues to stand with Kaepernick despite the criticism.

“I just want to see justice for all people, and the police brutality to stop,” says Jelani, the team’s tight end.

“Institutionalized racism. That’s what I’m taking a knee for,” Jason answers.

The inner-city high school football field does not have lights or bleachers and suffers from a lack of educational resources. However, that has not slowed the team down. Coach Joey Thomas believes his team is on the right path, and he will continue to throw his support behind them.

“Most of the people who don’t agree with us are mostly Caucasian,” Jason tells reporters. “…They really don’t experience what my other friends … experience.”

Since the team’s protest, they have opened dialogue with the Seattle Police Department to talk about racial inequality. And players have created a list of concerns addressing academic inequality in their school district.

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