Penn State

Students sit to take a stand at Penn State women’s volleyball game

Members of the Penn State chapter of NAACP sit during the national anthem before the Penn State women’s volleyball game against Minnesota on Wednesday at Rec Hall.
Members of the Penn State chapter of NAACP sit during the national anthem before the Penn State women’s volleyball game against Minnesota on Wednesday at Rec Hall. adrey@centredaily.com

A national issue came to a Penn State sports venue Wednesday night. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People took a stand by organizing a peaceful sit-in at the Nittany Lions women’s volleyball game against Minnesota.

NAACP Penn State Chapter President Shanta Mills raised her right fist and others sitting with her followed suit. A few people in the stands yelled at them to stand and they all just sat quietly. She said it was the vice president’s idea and she was happy to see all the people who came out. They stayed to cheer on their team saying, “It’s our school too.” Once the game got started some demonstrators put on white hats with the rest of the student section, and waved white pompoms.

The move is the most recent in a long line of sports event protests that started in August when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick quietly sat through the national anthem instead of standing. When asked, he said, “this is bigger than football,” and tied his protest to the shootings of black men by police.

It grew from there, first with his teammates and then to other teams and other sports. At Penn State’s game against Michigan in September, USA Today caught video of multiple Wolverines kneeling.

Even high school students and marching bands got involved, like when members of the East Carolina University band knelt during the anthem on Saturday.

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