Everything’s bigger in Texas. That statement holds true when it comes to football especially. Texas takes their high school (and even younger) football very seriously. In the state’s southeast region, a team made up of 11-12-year-old middle schoolers took a knee prior to the start of their Sept. 10 game along with their coaches, not knowing what would come of it.
The Beaumont (small oil town east of Houston) Bulls protest went viral, resulting in threats to the kids and coaches, along with the Beaumont Bulls’ board threatening to cancel the boys’ season. Through all of it, the team continued its protest of the national anthem for social injustice.
“How can you not feel some kind of way about someone on the news getting shot down by police?” a coach said speaking on the murder of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Okla. to Bleacher Report. “How can you be so comfortable with injustice that you don’t want to do anything?”
“Since Colin Kaepernick took a stand, we wanted to do the same,” a sixth-grader said in an interview with B/R. “We wanted to stand against racism and injustice.”
Bulls head coach, Rah Rah Barber, went to the parents of the kids and the league to ask for approval of the protest, which they received. As media coverage arrived, so did the death threats to the kids over Facebook.
That is when things took a turn going into their Sept. 17 game. The board apparently demanded the team stop their protest or risk banishment from the league. According to the coaches they were ambushed. The kids wanted to continue their protest, and the coaches allowed it.
Coach Barber was then suspended for the rest of the season in what was the most controversial board decision the league has ever made, citing that the coach lost control of his team by allowing the team to protest, along with parents speaking to the media.
“This is something that our boys are going to remember for the rest of their lives,” Parkerson, who is a team parent, said. “They’ll know that they can fight for what they believe in.”
The Beaumont Bulls plan to continue their protest every game the rest of the way.